One of the top-tier restricted free agents this summer is having a breakout season and will be an attractive target for teams in the league looking for an upgrade at the shooting guard position. Jimmy Butler has turned the corner and is arguably one of the best guards in the game today with an ability to be a force on both ends of the floor for the Chicago Bulls.
The real question moving forward is whether the Bulls are willing to pay to keep Butler in Chicago long-term. The 25-year-old guard will receive his fair share of offer sheets this summer and it appears the Bulls intent to match anything contract Butler is offered, according to Bulls GM John Paxson via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:
John Paxson tells @WaddleandSilvy that Bulls will match any offer sheet Jimmy Butler signs — even if it's a max offer.
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 22, 2015
In 42 games this season, Butler is averaging career-highs numbers across the board. Butler is putting up 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists on a nightly basis.
Although Derrick Rose gets all the attention in Chicago and Pau Gasol has turned back the clock this season, Butler has been one of the main reasons the Bulls will be able to contend in the Eastern Conference come playoff time.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, Butler will be an intriguing option this summer. Los Angeles will likely reach out to Butler along with a few other restricted free agents.
Other notable restricted free agents this summer will be Draymond Green, Brandon Knight, Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson — all of which could receive interest from the Lakers.[divide]
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