With the deadline for the Bulls to get a deal done with Jimmy Butler tonight at midnight, the Bulls and Butler have been in negotiation talks all month. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to get a deal done, with Jimmy rejecting the reported 4-year/$44 million dollar contract offer. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of this season. It is being reported that Butler was looking for something along the lines of 4-years/$60 million.
“It came down to me deciding that I want to bet on myself,” Butler told Yahoo Sports in a text message on Friday about the contract talks. “It was about me believing that I put the work in this summer to become a better player with the hope that my improvement will give the Bulls a better chance to win a championship.”
As a restricted free agent next summer, the Bulls would have the option to match any offer sheet Butler would be enticed enough to sign, but it could threaten their payroll structure or allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
Jimmy’s agent, Happy Walter, was quoted saying, “all the [rookie extension] deals done so far have shown that teams are building around their stars of the future, and they’re compensating those players as such. I was under the impression Jimmy was also viewed as one of those future building blocks with the Bulls. We tried like heck to get something done, but ultimately, the Bulls wanted a ‘hometown’ discount. While understandable, I doubt their GM or coaches give Mr. Reinsdorf a discount when negotiating their own deals.”
Though, Jimmy did not accept the Bulls offer, there is still time to get a deal done before the deadline tonight. Let’s hope they can come to terms on something, cause this Bulls team is completely different without the hard nosed defender that lead the team in minutes played last season.