Chicago Bulls breakout star Jimmy Butler will not sign the max offer sheet of 5-years and $90 million this offseason, Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.
It’s expected that the Bulls will offer him the max on July 1st, but Butler is far more interested in shorter deals that will make him a free agent in 2017 when the salary cap is set to rise due to the league’s new TV deal.
The Bulls can match any deal that Butler signs this offseason as a restricted free agent, but it sounds more and more likely that Butler could leave in 2017. According to Wojnarowski’s sources, Butler is intrigued with the idea of playing in Los Angeles with the Lakers after spending the summer there.
Whatever the case, the price on Butler is going up. The Bulls are a long way away from the 4-year, $48 million deal they wouldn’t offer that Butler wanted. They wouldn’t budge from their 4-year, $44 million offer.
Now, Butler can sign a 5-year, $190 million deal if he signs a three year offer sheet worth $50 million this offseason, assuming the third year of the deal is a player option.
Butler was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after averaging 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season.