Despite a summer that’s already included traveling to China and attending the ESPYs things haven’t really changed for Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler heading into his third NBA season.

In a recent phone interview with Butler took the same tact he did when he started to emerge during the second half of the regular season crediting his teammates for instilling confidence in him.

“I’m confident. I feel like my teammates are always telling me that I can belong here and that I can play. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be in this organization. That just gives me that will to work harder to be great” explained the Texas native back in Chicago and back to his daily routine of individual workouts at the Berto Center. “I just posted a picture on Instagram of all the greats that’s up in our practice facility and if you want to be like them you’ve got to continue to work. You can never settle. I’m always going to do what got me to this point being an underdog and working extremely hard. And now that you’ve got a great player [Derrick Rose] surrounding you I like our chances of winning this championship.”

But even as he brushes off the suggestion that he plays a large role in the Bulls’ success there’s an aura of confidence in Butler’s words. Although he wasn’t invited to participate in the ongoing USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas — not to disparage any of the players in attendance but Butler who was under consideration according to a league source has as much potential and is just as deserving as several of Select Team members — after stepping into the starting lineup on a permanent basis he’s now regarded as one of the NBA’s more promising youngsters.

From the abilities he possessed upon arriving in Chicago such as his defensive prowess uncanny offensive rebounding for a perimeter player and high-flying athleticism to gradual developments like his improved outside jumper blossoming one-on-one scoring ability and the durability to play consecutive full playoff games while matched up against league MVP LeBron James Butler displayed the type of upside that’s caused Bulls management and coaches alike to smile when his name is mentioned long after last season ended.

Proclaimed the team’s starting shooting guard going into next season by none other than the tight-lipped Tom Thibodeau — the Bulls head coach is prone to not divulge his starters minutes in advance of a regular-season game so a months-ahead declaration is really saying something — Butler the 30th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft refuses to change his approach.

Rather than hone in on his ballhandling as he completes the transition from a college forward to a professional guard or just focus on outside shooting in anticipation he claims that his offseason workouts consist of “everything."

“I’m not perfect in any aspect of my game in area of it so why work on one more than the other? There’s a lot of things that I can really get better at so I’m working on everything. I want to be able to bring everything to the table” Butler went on to say. “I’m just going to try to focus on what we’re doing as a team us as a whole. I know Thibs is always saying ‘Do what you’re best at. Try to cover up your weaknesses and do the same thing for your teammates.’ Yeah I may be on the scouting report but I feel like it’s about us as a team not what they’re truly prepared for. I feel like if we play our style of basketball night in and night out it doesn’t matter what their scouting report says. We’re going to still win the game.”

If you can’t tell by now Butler has high expectations for the Bulls. Much of that is due to the return of Rose the man he’ll share starting backcourt duties with.

Looking back at the shooting guards the former league MVP has played alongside it’s fair to say that Butler has the most all-around talent hence the muffling of observers who believed the Bulls wouldn’t fully prosper until the organization acquired a high-scoring backcourt companion for Rose giving rise to names like Courtney Lee O.J. Mayo and Monta Ellis being thrown around.

Ben Gordon was a fan favorite and could clearly score the ball but as has been witnessed since his contract-related departure from Chicago via free agency he hasn’t aged well (albeit for franchises that haven’t had great talent around him) and even at his best he never offered much versatility besides putting up points. Kirk Hinrich a former starter at the position is more of a natural point guard and will now reprise his role from Rose’s rookie season as a backup to the Chicago native. John Salmons’ high-water mark with the Bulls was the 2009 playoffs and he wasn’t in town for much longer after that. Rip Hamilton was rarely healthy for extended stretches and when he was seldom did that coincide with Rose also being on the court. Keith Bogans was probably unfairly maligned was more of a token starter and his more subtle contributions to the team were never appreciated by the masses (in this writer’s opinion though having seen his All-American days at DeMatha High School it’s a biased view) but like Ronnie Brewer another defensive-minded type he was offensively challenged.

That’s a long way of pointing out that Butler’s two-way game athleticism and developing offense whether through the front office’s strategic planning the coaching staff’s development or a combination of his own diligent work ethic and being in the right place at the right time have made the shooting-guard debate cease to be an issue. His ballhandling could be more polished and he'll have to prove that he's a consistent threat from deep but with his blue-collar mentality coupled with explosiveness that should make him an ideal bookend in transition all Butler has to do is continue to be himself to excel alongside Rose.