Butler's assist numbers should go through the roof with Wolves

Butler averaged 5.5 assists last season even though his Bulls teammates couldn't shoot.

Everyone knows that Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns are going to be a lethal combination in Minnesota. 

But of all the articles glowing about the new-look Timberwolves, one published by CBS Sports on Friday makes it sound like Butler's assist numbers will go through the roof simply because he'll be passing the ball a lot to Towns. 

It sounds basic enough, but the stats are necessary to tell the true story. 

CBS Sports writer Matt Moore found that Butler's assist numbers would've been much higher had his teammates in Chicago actually made some shots out of the pick-n-roll.

Butler passed out of the pick-n-roll 566 times last season and his Bulls teammates made only 39.5 percent of the corresponding shot. That number dipped to 35 percent when Butler passed directly to the roll guy. 

The roll guy in Minnesota will often be Towns, whose effective field-goal percentage on jump shots out of the pick-n-roll was 72.9 percent.

For perspective, Towns was in the 90th percentile while Bulls roll guys were in the third percentile. Repeat: THIRD percentile. 

39.5 percent of 566 is about 223. So, yeah, Butler was credited with about 220 assists when passing out of the pick-n-roll last season. Had the Bulls hit 50 percent of those shots, Butler would've finished with about 60 more assists, effectively boosting his assist average from 5.5 to 6.3. 

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