HoopsHype Jimmy Butler rumors

January 23, 2015 Updates
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No player means any more to his team at both ends of the floor than Butler does to the Bulls, who stand ready to show how much they believe that. Internally, the Bulls are planning to take a proactive approach to contract negotiations with Butler next July and secure the shooting guard for a long-term spot alongside Derrick Rose. Chicago Tribune

They began preparing for that inevitability one year ago this week when they reset the clock on the NBA's repeater tax — which penalizes teams that pay the luxury tax three of four seasons — by trading Luol Deng to the Cavaliers. They fully expect to sign Butler to a max deal next July before another team even gets involved to tempt him with an offer sheet, which the CBA says they can after the moratorium ends. They accept that the size of Butler's contract will put the Bulls in position to pay the luxury tax, something Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says he will do for a championship contender his team is. Chicago Tribune

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December 30, 2014 Updates
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"I'm not surprised he's improved," Thibodeau said. "The amount he's improved, I wouldn't be honest if I said I saw it coming. I thought he was capable of scoring more than he did, but playing the way he is, he's playing great. On both sides of the ball, he's an All-Star, and he's making big plays for us." NBA.com

The Bulls didn't give Butler a fourth-year extension in the fall, meaning he'll become a restricted free agent at season's end. Chicago says it has no intentions of letting Butler go, but he's going to cost them a lot more money next summer than he would have in October. He's averaging 22 points a night, shooting 49 percent from the floor, obliterating his previous highs in those categories. He's currently third in the league in Offensive Win Shares, eighth in Defensive Win Shares, according to basketball-reference.com. NBA.com

But Butler spent most of the summer in Houston working with his trainer, Chris Johnson, doing a lot of mid-post work, ball handling and shooting. Mainly, the point was for Butler to see the ball going into the basket as much as possible. "He told me that that part of the game got lost a little bit," Butler said. "That's what Chris kept telling me. He said if you can master that, then you can work your way out from there. He said I was already good at finishing, and he said I'll get that midrange game down, and then you can worry about stepping out to that three." NBA.com

December 22, 2014 Updates
December 19, 2014 Updates

“I don’t want be a star,” Butler was saying in answer to a question after the Bulls struggling 103-97 victory Thursday over the New York Knicks. “I just want to be a decent role player on a really good team. Whatever my team needs: If that’s scoring, rebounding, passing the ball or just playing defense, that’s my job on this team. Those guys are always looking for me to be successful. Whenever you have teammates like that who have confidence in you, it’s very easy to have confidence in yourself. Bulls.com

“I think I’m Ok at scoring right now,” said Butler. “They give me the ball in incredible position and make it really easy for me; they’re good at driving and kicking and finding me to where I really don’t have to do too much. That’s what great teammates are all about. They see I’m in a rhythm and continue to do that for me. I’ve never been the best player on my team, never probably will be. But I’ve always been a hard worker, a guy who doesn’t give up on himself, who has the most confidence in himself. Now I play for the Chicago Bulls.” Bulls.com

December 9, 2014 Updates
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