Chicago Bulls rumors revealed some surprising news about Jimmy Butler.
The Bulls have reportedly offered Butler a max contract that would pay the restricted free agent $90 million over the next five years. As reported by ESPN on Tuesday (June 30), this would lock up the All-Star small forward and keep him from testing free agency. It’s a bold move by the team to commit that much salary to Butler, but it might just be what was necessary to get him to stay in Chicago.
This offer from the Bulls has already yielded some positive news for the team, as Butler has postponed meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers. He had been prepared to start making a tour around the league to hear what other teams were willing to offer in free agency. That may longer be necessary if the Bulls give him exactly what he wants. The only question remaining is whether or not Butler puts his name on the signature line now or deeper into free agency.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Lakers had plans to offer Butler a contract, even though it looked like the Bulls might match those overtures. As a restricted free agent, Butler doesn’t have that many rights when he tries to find a new contract. No matter what deal he signs with another franchise, the Bulls have the right to match that offer and retain his services. Rather than go down that road and risk some ill feelings from a star player, though, the team may have extended a contract offer to actually overpay him now.
While these Chicago Bulls rumors might get fans really excited about the short-term outlook for the team, a reality is that money could become an issue. The Bulls already have just over $58 million committed to other players for the 2015-16 NBA season, suggesting a contract of this nature would put them deep into the luxury tax penalties. It would basically freeze the current roster for the next few years if none of the expensive salaries were traded away.
With this Jimmy Butler contract offer, the franchise is taking an all-in approach to winning next year. Signing Pau Gasol to an affordable deal looks like a genius move at this point, but do the Chicago Bulls have enough offense to overtake teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference? The Butler contract offer may appear to be risky, but it should encourage fans that the front office is doing everything possible to win games now.
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