After playing six seasons for the Chicago Bulls (three of them All-Star campaigns), Jimmy Butler rejoined his former head coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota via a trade last June. Though he underperformed during his first few games as a Wolf, Jimmy Buckets would soon more than justify his nickname. Aside from leading the Timberwolves in scoring, Butler impacted the team for the better in less flashy ways—reliably contributing leadership, maturity, and defense. Though surrounded by talent—especially recent Rookie of the Year winners Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins—Butler was the biggest factor in all but assuring the Timberwolves would make the playoffs for the first time since George W. Bush’s first term. That is, until he suffered a meniscus injury in February. Buckets would return, eventually rallying his team into the postseason.
Readers’ Choice: Karl-Anthony Towns