HoopsHype Jimmy Butler rumors

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May 20, 2015 Updates
May 19, 2015 Updates

Rose was never asked directly why he disappeared when his team needed him most, but sources tell 670 The Score that a common NBA problem affected the Bulls at the worst possible time – two alpha dogs and only one basketball. It looked strange when wing Jimmy Butler kept flashing to Rose’s side of the floor, calling for the ball, as the Bulls’ offense was drying up. Rose was all too happy to oblige instead of waving Butler off and taking charge, either resetting the called play or taking his man – often the undrafted Matthew Dellavedova – hard to the rim for at least a likely foul. CBS Chicago

Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer. Butler is very aware that he won his bet on himself and is poised to reap the reward of a maximum contract from the Bulls, whether or not it takes an offer sheet from another club in restricted free agency this summer. Butler’s emergence was validated by the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, and he’s now feeling every bit the star, with all that entails. CBS Chicago

May 18, 2015 Updates

Rose was never asked directly why he disappeared when his team needed him most, but sources tell 670 The Score that a common NBA problem affected the Bulls at the worst possible time – two alpha dogs and only one basketball. It looked strange when wing Jimmy Butler kept flashing to Rose’s side of the floor, calling for the ball, as the Bulls’ offense was drying up. Rose was all too happy to oblige instead of waving Butler off and taking charge, either resetting the called play or taking his man – often the undrafted Matthew Dellavedova – hard to the rim for at least a likely foul. Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer. Butler is very aware that he won his bet on himself and is poised to reap the reward of a maximum contract from the Bulls, whether or not it takes an offer sheet from another club in restricted free agency this summer. Butler’s emergence was validated by the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, and he’s now feeling every bit the star, with all that entails. CBS Chicago

May 15, 2015 Updates

The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, sources say, are only the two teams you hear about most when it comes to making runs at Butler. There will most definitely be others, no matter how often the Bulls say in the coming days -- and you'll hear it a ton -- that they intend to match any offer he gets. ESPN.com

May 11, 2015 Updates

Matthew Dellavedova led James to the corner after he'd jabbed toward the lane with defensive blanket Jimmy Butler guarding him. James caught it, hopped back, loaded and fired. Shot goes in, it's 86-84. Ball game. "It was a tough shot. You saw him fading away from the three-point line. What do you think we should've done better?" vented Taj Gibson, who guarded Dellavedova on the game's final play despite tweaking his knee in the fourth quarter, then heaved both his shoes toward the corner of the Bulls' locker room, uninterested in reliving their failed opportunity. USA Today Sports

May 9, 2015 Updates

Butler stated his intention to remain a Bull, too. "This is a place for me. I love playing with the guys that we have," he said. "They continue to bring in great, high character guys that fit the team role. I love it here. I'm happy to be here." USA Today Sports

Just before the season began, Butler turned down a four-year, $40-42 million extension, and said he was going to bet on himself. Butler went all in and is going to get paid. He's a restricted free agent but could be looking at a deal that starts out around $15 million next season. So, who won the bet? "Do I feel like I won the bet? It's a tie. I think we both won," Butler said. "I did my job and what I was supposed to do, and I think they are happy with where I am right now." USA Today Sports

Already a dedicated basketball player, Butler focused on his offense last summer, pulling the plug on cable and the internet. It was practically eat, basketball, sleep, basketball, repeat. Maybe the occasional movie and back to basketball. "It started early in the summer," Butler told USA TODAY Sports. "We were in the gym all the time. We shoot jumpers. We work on my ballhandling, mid-post a majority of the time. Your confidence really does come from your work. As long as I kept seeing the ball go in the basket, my confidence continued to grow." USA Today Sports

Outside of Chicago, teams are already preparing possible maximum-salary offer sheets for Butler in free agency, including the Los Angeles Lakers as one of several expected suitors, league sources told RealGM. Even Butler’s college area connection, the Milwaukee Bucks, will have cap space in July. Around the league, there’s a question: How will Chicago handle the inevitable max out of a star player not named Rose? For now, Butler has made clear his desire, and the Bulls will assuredly match anything, anyway. Here’s a breakthrough star in the regular season, and an even bigger performer in the postseason. He’s a main reason these Bulls believe they have an opportunity to defeat LeBron, but James has been persistent in his bounce-back outputs ever since those 2011 Finals. RealGM

To put into context what Butler is tasked with on a nightly basis while trying to guard James, Bulls forward Taj Gibson compared James to arguably the best player of all time. "He's the Michael Jordan of our generation," Gibson said of James. "He's extremely talented, extremely physical, it's just tough [defending him], man. It's funny I was just watching the Detroit Pistons documentary [Thursday], about how you just have to go after guys all these years. We've been seeing LeBron over and over over the years, and every year we just kept getting better and better. You see how Jimmy was stepping up taking those shots he wasn't taking last year and it's big. We need everybody." ESPN.com

May 7, 2015 Updates

Pau Gasol: Congrats brother! RT NBA: The @ChicagoBulls' @JimmyButler named 2014-2015 @Kia NBA Most Improved Player of the Year! #KiaMIP pic.twitter.com/s7AkGKiDGj Twitter @paugasol

Kurt Helin: It's official, Jimmy Butler wins Most Improved Player award. Draymond Green was second, Rudy Gobert third. Twitter @basketballtalk

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