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Bulls’ Jimmy Butler selected as NBA’s most improved player

May 7, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) — Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls has been named the NBA’s most improved player after making his first All-Star team and averaging a career high in scoring.

The 25-year-old Butler received 92 of 129 first-place votes and 535 total points from a panel of U.S. sportswriters and broadcasters.

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors (11 first-place votes, 200 points) was second, and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz (12 first-place votes, 189 points) finished third.

That the award went to Butler was hardly a surprise given the big jump he made while helping the Bulls fight through injuries to win 50 games.

In his fourth season, the guard went from averaging 13.1 to 20 points. His shooting improved from 39.7 to 46.2 percent, his rebounding jumped from 4.9 to 5.8, and his assists increased from 2.6 to 3.3 per game.

Butler is also in line for a huge payday as a restricted free agent after he and the Bulls were unable to agree to a contract extension before the season.

The Bulls are tied 1-1 with Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals after beating Milwaukee in the first round. Game 3 is on Friday at Chicago.

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