One intangible that Jimmy Butler and Kris Dunn share? Fearlessness
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The similarities are hard to ignore.
Jimmy Butler and Kris Dunn may play different positions and have different body types, but there are definitely more than a few shared intangible.
“I think the biggest way I see similarities in Jimmy and in Kris Dunn is they’re fearless when they’re out there playing,’’ Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said on Friday. “[Dunn’s] got really good instincts, really good hands, he’s got an unbelievable body, and he’s going to give an effort defensively every time he’s on the floor. Obviously that’s how Jimmy got his start. That’s how he made his mark early on in his career, as a defensive player.
“Kris is going to keep growing and getting better as a young player, and I think Jimmy is a guy that he can look to as a guy that he can watch and develop into.’’
Hoiberg had Butler for two years, while Tom Thibodeau obviously raised Butler in the NBA. And then both have had Dunn for a season after Butler was traded for the point guard over the summer.
“Kris is a tough kid,’’ Thibodeau said. “You watched him play in college, and you knew that. He’s got a football background to him. He’s a very dynamic, terrific athlete, so he’s not afraid. The more times he goes through the league, the more he picks up. He’s very smart and he’s tough.
“He’s as tough as they come. Anyone from Connecticut is going to be tough.’’
By the way, Thibodeau is also from Connecticut.
The road back
Cameron Payne played in his second of four scheduled games with the Windy City Bulls Friday night, as the Bulls anticipating finally getting a good look at the back-up point guard over the final two-plus months of the season.
Payne, who has September surgery on his right foot, scored 29 points on 24 shots in his Wednesday debut, and if he has no setbacks with the G-League team, he will join the big-boy squad after the All-Star Break.
“We’re going to see with Cameron Payne, see if he’s got something that we like,’’ VP of basketball operations John Paxson said.
Point guard depth has been a glaring problem for the Bulls, and if they don’t like what they see from Payne the remainder of the season, expect the two sides to part ways this summer.
The Thibs experience
Zach LaVine said his one year spent with Thibodeau in Minnesota was a relationship built on mutual respect.
“You can respect someone who works that hard,’’ LaVine said. “I know I worked that hard. I’ll be in the gym late nights and he’ll be there with me. Sometimes I’ll get there early and he’ll be there. Sometimes I try to beat him there. You respect someone who works that hard at his craft.’’
A quick goodbye
One day after trading Jameer Nelson to Detroit, the Bulls continued cleaning up the roster in the aftermath of the Nikola Mirotic trade, waiving guard/forward Tony Allen. Allen, along with Nelson and Omer Asik, as well as a protected first-round pick, came over in the Mirotic deal from New Orleans.