When the Chicago Bulls constructed their roster in the offseason, there was an air of unpredictability that surrounded it and what they could achieve this year.
After signing free agents Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to form a mini big three with the team's franchise player Jimmy Butler, not everybody was immediately convinced this would translate to winning.
16 games into the campaign, the Bulls are 10-6 and have the third best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
A huge reason for this is due to Wade and Rondo declaring from the outset that this is Butler's team and he's thrived under that responsibility.
According to Wade, the entire league is now witnessing just how good his fellow Marquette product is.
“The league is on notice. Everybody is on notice that Jimmy Butler is a player,” Wade told The Vertical. “What everyone is seeing this year, I think everyone has been a little surprised, but we all knew he could play.
"You’ve seen the potential. Obviously, he’s been an All-Star the last two years, he’s averaged over 20 [points] a game, but what he’s doing nightly now, on both ends of the floor, he’s a complete player. And it’s for real. It’s not one week of doing it. He’s been doing it all season, and I don’t see him slowing down, so …”
The numbers certainly back up what D.Wade is saying. Jimmy is currently averaging career-highs across the board with 25.8 points, 4.1 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game.
If the 27-year-old and Chicago keep up this level, they may prove to be a real threat to the Cavs in the long run and make things interesting in the east.