Up until this year, Jimmy Butler looked like he was always going to be a Wesley Johnson-Iman Shumpert type of wing. Can get you 13-15 points on a good night, hits a few three balls, shoots crappy from the field and nabs a few steals here and there.

His improvement was steady over his first three seasons, but heading into this year’s fantasy drafts, the thought going through most people’s minds was: This guy’s a sleeper, sure, but Derrick Rose is coming back. If Rose is finally healthy, Butler is a non-factor, and even if he isn’t, we’re not missing out on much.

Right here I instruct you to crank up the volume on your device/computer as loud as you can and click on this link.

Butler came into Friday’s tilt against the Blazers with a string of four straight games where he topped 20, including a 32-point explosion against the Pacers. I’m singling out that Blazers game as a caveat, as Da Bulls entered Portland with no Rose, no Pau Gasol, no Kirk Hinrich and no chance of winning. Butler, who had nine points on 3-13 shooting, joined his teammates in chucking up prayers to try and stay in the game, and almost none of those prayers were answered.

I will say this. The Portland game does expose Butler as a guy who cannot carry a real NBA team. In other words, he is not a healthy Derrick Rose in Derrick Rose’s prime. I think Butler’s value is intrinsically tied to the health of this squad. If, for example, Gasol is healthy, but Rose isn’t, Butler is very valuable. If both are healthy, still valuable, but not as much. If neither is healthy, he will be up and down, struggling against good teams, dominating bad ones.

Long-term, I see a sell-high wing. Yeah, it’ll taste good right now, but later tonight, your significant other will be relegating you to sleeping on the couch. And it won’t be because you snore.

Still hungry? Order up one of these flavors:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t listen to country music…  I don’t listen to that emo we talked about last Friday anymore either… This is quickly turning into JB’s music blog (I’ll always shoot anyone some recommendations if you want rock/shoegaze/ambient stuff!  Flip side to Grey’s rapcoin!)…

Anyway, I googled The Band Perry, because well, I know that they’re something popular, and the first image looks like some hot chick standing in front of two of the Stark ninnies from Game of Thrones.  Which would be a pretty apt way to think about the Thunder a mere month ago.  Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook standing in front of some ninnies.  Don’t get me wrong, RJax and Lurch are some exciting young talent, but I preach da truff!  Then the injury bug swept the Thunder locker room more aggressively than Ebola media coverage (I would say just Ebola, but even THAT isn’t spreading as fast…), and everyone is hurt.  With all that offense recovering and enjoying painkiller prescriptions, somebody was bound to step up.  And why not the talented Perry Jones, who I compared in his first mention last year to James Johnson – multi-cat with 3s.  I knew the tags would help me!  Click on a player name on the bottom of the article there and you get every article that dude was mentioned…  Focus!  After that huge 32/7/3 breakout last Thursday night, encored it with 23/4/2/2/0 Saturday shooting 9-18 with three treys in a whopping 41 minutes.  While his rest of season outlook remains a little murky when the rest of Perry’s cast of Friends return, he’s an obvious must-add for the short term.  Another big week, and you can sell him faster than a Courtney Cox sitcom about boning cougars.  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The misadventures of JB and Slim will not be shown today at its normally scheduled time due to Slim’s sudden disappearance into da bush. Instead we proudly present our D-League extravaganza.  A showcase of the talent currently being developed in the minors.

Pierre Jackson – PG – Idaho Stampede (NOP) – After transferring to Baylor from Southern Idaho, Pierre quickly proved he was a D1 talent.  In 2 years, Pierre twice achieved All-Big 12 Second Team honors with averages of 16.5 points and 6.5 assists.  With the 42nd overall pick Jackson was drafted by Philadelphia and then dealt to New Orleans in a draft day trade.  After barely playing in the summer league and not seeing any minutes in the preseason Pierre began his professional career in earnest for the Idaho Stampede.  Ya know Vern, through 8 games Pierre is averaging 30 points, 5.0 assists, and 2.4 steals to go with an unwieldy 5.0 turnovers, good enough to be twice named performer of the week.  Jackson doesn’t have a direct route to playing time and needs to get the turnovers in check before he steps foot on an NBA court.  There is a ton of talent here though and with a trade or injury Pierre could be given an opportunity this year, uh huh oui oui!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you recall back to last week, I remember talking up Jon Leuer as an interesting deep league play.   Loved the out-of-position threes, the boarding, the all-around production.  I said I would probably go after him in REL, and then Slim tells me he’s probably not bidding on him this week.  So I figure, I can dangle a few bucks and if someone beats me to him so be it.  But it shouldn’t have been you Slim!!  He Leuered me in with scoffing and brush-off ness.  Slim, you want to repay me for this horrific slight of hand?  Trade him to me!  I guess I should talk more about Leuer than rant…  Just over 27 minutes last night for 16/12 with a three on 7-14 shooting.  This now marks five straight games of 23:30+ minutes, averaging nearly a double-double a game on top of almost a three a game with a few blocks.  He’s not going to turn into some superstar, but he’s a great stretch the court center, which fits Mike Conley trying to drive and dish.  Sorry Kosta Koufos, but your outside shots are labradoodles!  That term needs to be added to the glossary…  I see Leuer continuing his PT as a double double threat while Marc Gasol is out, with a handful of threes, steals and blocks to help out deeper leagues.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it.  My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!”  At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue!  It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers.  Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers.  Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night.  Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4.  I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful.  They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night!  Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries.  But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it.  I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team.  Sorry Bulls fans!  Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt.  It’s unreal!  It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding.  And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time.  He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther.  “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!”  But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats.  At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not.  I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now.  Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound.  I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there.  Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night.  Near Goromotaro!  Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20.  A little laser eye surgery.  I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago.  In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night.   Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub.  If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

Please, blog, may I have some more?