Jimmy Butler was one of the most sought-after wing players in free agency this year. The NBA’s Most Improved Player was a restricted free agent making the chances of him leaving the Bulls slim at best.
The Bulls extended a maximum qualifying offer making it even more unlikely he would leave and ultimate Butler has decided to sign a five-year maximum deal with the Bulls according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
Jimmy Butler accepts 5 year, $90 million deal with Bulls, has player option after fourth year
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2015
Butler seemingly was interested in leaving Chicago this off-season, but the Bulls held so much leverage that Butler actually leaving was always going to be tough. In the end, the Bulls got what they wanted as they lock up Butler long-term and secure their backcourt for a long time.
Considered one of the best two-way wings in the NBA, Butler showed a lot of growth last season as he averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, all career highs. Butler was also named to his first All-Star team and made the All-Defensive Second Team.
Suddenly the Lakers’ options in free agency are dwindling. The meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t go well reportedly and Kevin Love has agreed to remain in Cleveland. If the Lakers don’t strike soon, they may come up empty handed for the second straight summer.[divide]