We knew Jimmy Butler turned down whatever it was the Bulls were offering in terms of a contract extension, when it was reported he decided to “bet on himself” this year and deal with his next contract once the season was finished.
But what we didn’t know was just how high that offer was.
We now have some idea, and if the reported figure is accurate, Butler did the right thing by deciding to wait things out.
According to a source, Butler turned down a four-year, $40 million-plus offer from the Bulls. After watching Klay Thompson get the max four-year, $70 million contract from the Warriors, Butler was willing to test the market as a restricted free agent and force the Bulls to make the tough decision.
Through the first 15 games, he’s averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 1.62 steals to go along with 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
He’s well on his way to stardom. Just don’t tell Butler.
“I’m not a star,’’ Butler said. “I’m a good role player on a really, really good team, a really, really deep team. I like being a role player. Star has never been next to Jimmy Butler’s name. It never will be. I’ll always be an under-the-radar dawg.’’
Butler is going to get paid next summer; not only are his offensive numbers up significantly, but he’s known as an excellent perimeter defender, and as an ironman of sorts, playing a semi-insane 39.2 minutes per game to this point in the season.
Restricted free agency means that the Bulls have the right to match any offer that Butler receives. It’ll be interesting to see where Chicago’s priorities are if Butler continues to improve, and ends up signing an offer sheet far north of the (borderline insulting) offer that he already received.