But since his arrival, he’s provided the kind of consistent production that only the biggest OKC optimists could have predicted.
In 22 games to end the regular season, he averaged nearly double-digits and shot 44 percent from three. On Saturday, he chipped in with nine important points and five rebounds, coming through in big moments.
“His minutes were good,” Brooks said. “He’s a very good basketball player. Sam (Presti) did a great job picking him up and putting us in this position to have him.”
The greatest indication of Butler’s on-court impact, though, came in the plus/minus column, where he was a game-high plus-18.
With Butler on the court, the Thunder were dominant. And that's why he continues to get a starter’s share of the minutes. He played 31 on Saturday, the fourth-most on the team and 20 more than starting forward Thabo Sefolosha.
And it’s hard to argue with Brooks’ use of the Thunder’s newest contributor. He’s been playing that well.