HoopsHype Jimmy Butler rumors

November 5, 2014 Updates
November 3, 2014 Updates
November 2, 2014 Updates

Jimmy Butler not only is “betting on himself.’’ He’s wagering that a new $24 billion television deal will keep him in Chicago. The Bulls guard and his agent, Happy Walters, walked away from a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the Bulls on Friday. Even with the deadline having passed and Butler officially becoming a restricted free agent in July, the former first-round pick was confident that the sides would reach a deal down the road. “People say I’m chasing money when that’s not it — yeah, get your mic closer — that’s not it, because I’m going to be in Chicago,’’ Butler said Saturday. “I’m not worried about it. I say that with a smile on my face because I know that for a fact. We’ll resume [negotiations] in July.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

Butler indicated he has no ill feelings toward the Bulls’ ­organization for trying to play hardball with him. “You can’t take too many things personal,’’ Butler said. “We have a great group of guys, and that all comes down from the ­management and ownership. So [I have] a lot of respect for everybody who has helped me through that whole process. “Dealing with them was ­definitely a good thing. It could have been a lot worse. We left off on great terms, not just good, great terms. Our goal is still the same, and that’s to win a championship.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

November 1, 2014 Updates

Jimmy Butler’s agent told the Tribune before the Bulls game with the Cavaliers that Butler rejected a final offer and that stance didn’t change. Sources said the Bulls offered a multi-year deal averaging $11 million during lengthy, cordial conversations. Butler will be a restricted free agent next summer, meaning the Bulls can match any offer he receives. Unlike when Omer Asik entered restricted free agency, the Bulls own Butler’s full “Bird” rights so offers can’t be as back-loaded prohibitively as Asik’s poison pill deal with the Rockets. “This is where I want to be,” Butler said. “I love my teammates, the fan base, the organization, everybody. I think I still will end up in this city. Chicago Tribune

“Jimmy loves Chicago and hopefully is there long-term. But his future is in his hands, not the Bulls’,” said Happy Walters, Butler’s agent. “He’s ready to prove wrong the questions they have about his shooting.” General manager Gar Forman said the Bulls are confident they eventually will reach a deal because they control the process. “Jimmy knows how we feel about him,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s a pro. Everyone loves Jimmy.” Chicago Tribune

October 31, 2014 Updates

“We still want a deal,” Butler insisted. “I still want to be here. I still want to have nothing to worry about. So we have until 11:59 to figure it out. I’m not a personal guy. I don’t take everything to heart. I understand it’s a business. I just have to be a great basketball player. I think this team is really good, championship caliber. I am a part of this team; I am going to produce. I’m going to guard. I will take care of myself. I think there’s not too much I can do right now. I’m done talking about it.” Bulls.com

"The talks were very productive. I think Jimmy understands how much we value him and appreciate him. Jimmy relayed to us how badly he wants to be here long term. Both parties have agreed at this time to table the discussions and we’ll review them in July", Forman said. "But it doesn’t change where we are today and how both parties feel about each other. We put what we felt was an extremely fair and respectable offer on the table under the rules as an extension.” Bulls.com

Steve Kyler: Bulls started at $9 million per year - worked up to just over $11m today -- $12-$12.5 mil would likely get it done if structured right. Butler's camp feels pretty strong that Jimmy won't get less in free agency than the $10-$11 million per the Bulls are offering. Jimmy has a chance this season to play himself into better offer or into a deal that more favorable to his future. Bull still have time to revisit their offer, but it seems like Butler will play out the season... tick-tock. Twitter @stevekylerNBA

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