Jimmy Butler turned down a $40 million contract extension in October, and he will be a hot commodity during this summer.
During the offseason, Butler will be a restricted free agent, and the Los Angeles Lakers are contenders to hand Butler a max contract.
Outside of Chicago, teams are already preparing possible maximum-salary offer sheets for Butler in free agency, including the Los Angeles Lakers as one of several expected suitors, league sources told RealGM. Even Butler’s college area connection, the Milwaukee Bucks, will have cap space in July. Around the league, there’s a question: How will Chicago handle the inevitable max out of a star player not named Rose?
Butler, who was named Most Improved Player, played in 65 regular-season games, averaging 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. He also received his first All-Star game selection.
Butler has submerged as a household name during the playoffs as he’s scoring 23 points and being the primary defender on LeBron James in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
When Butler was drafted, he said he wanted to shutdown James and win a championship with Chicago.
For now, Butler has made clear his desire, and the Bulls will assuredly match anything, anyway. Here’s a breakthrough star in the regular season, and an even bigger performer in the postseason. He’s a main reason these Bulls believe they have an opportunity to defeat LeBron, but James has been persistent in his bounce-back outputs ever since those 2011 Finals.