Los Angeles Lakers rumors might get fans excited. Reportedly, Jimmy Butler may want to sign with the Lakers, putting the Chicago Bulls in a difficult position during the NBA offseason. A report from NBC Sports on Tuesday (June 16) indicates that he plans on pursuing a short-term deal in the offseason. This would be despite having the talent to garner a maximum contract extension from the Bulls right now. This could possibly be a good thing for the Lakers if the team shows Butler enough interest.
Now, the reality of this situation is that the Lakers are an extreme longshot to have Butler playing for them in the 2015-16 NBA season. Teaming him up with Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, and a high selection in the 2015 NBA Draft could be huge. The problem for the Lakers is that Butler is a restricted free agent. It means that no matter what offseason offer sheet that Butler signs, the Bulls can match that offer. It would then lock in Butler as a player on the Bulls for the duration of that deal.
The Lakers have a lot of salary cap space available for the upcoming NBA offseason, especially with point guard Steve Nash deciding to retire. Kobe Bryant is still set to make $25 million in the final year of his deal, though, so that takes away a lot of the money available. It is estimated that the Lakers will have about $23 million to spend on free agents, giving the team a lot of money to work with. That would be enough to sign Butler as well as another role player..
As previously reported on the Inquisitr, the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to several other free agents as well. Power forward Kevin Love and point guard Rajon Rondo could be on the list of players that the Lakers pursue during the NBA offseason. It’s also possible that the team takes a look at All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge to see if he would come to the West Coast. For Aldridge, though, it seems safer to assume that he will either stay with the Portland Trail Blazers or go to one of the teams in Texas (Houston Rockets or Dallas Mavericks).
If the Chicago Bulls are completely set on signing Jimmy Butler no matter what deal he gets offered in free agency, then there isn’t much other teams can do. The reason he really wants a short-term deal, is that the NBA salary cap will likely be increased quite a bit in the next few years. Any free agent that is available when the cap goes up will likely see a huge payday unlike anything in the NBA before. These Los Angeles Lakers rumors point to the team actively pursuing and potentially signing Butler as soon as possible, but the Bulls are likely to match any contract that gets offered. That might even include one with a no-trade clause.
[Image Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]