HoopsHype Jimmy Butler rumors

November 26, 2014 Updates

"He's been incredible," said Thibodeau, whose Bulls lost 114-109 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. "He's a star, and he does it on both ends of the floor. He's just an amazing player. We've had him play the point, we've had him play the 2, the 3, and tonight he played the 4. And he hasn't had any opportunity to practice the 4. So he just got out there, he's smart, he's tough, he does whatever the team needs, and he found a way to help lead us into coming back and having a shot at the end." ESPN.com

Although the 25-year-old continues to put up All-Star-type numbers, he doesn't want any part of the star label. "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 role players. 'Star' has never been next to Jimmy Butler's name, it never will be. I'll always be just an under-the-radar dog." ESPN.com

November 25, 2014 Updates

Butler, 25, is earning $2 million in the fourth year of his rookie contract. Back in October, he declined a rookie-extension offer worth at least $40 million over four years. He delayed his eight-figure gratification even though he spent years in high school without a permanent home, making due on a day-to-day, hand-to-mouth, couch-to-couch basis. Butler admits that it was “hard” to pass on the extension and jokes that his first reaction, when presented with the offer's terms, was: “Bet! We’re good!” Upon further reflection, and advice from his agent Happy Walters, Butler decided to play out this season and test his earning potential next summer, when he will become a restricted free agent. Sports Illustrated

“The world knows I love Chicago. This is where I want to be,” Butler said. “I think this is where I’m going to be. After last year, everyone was like, ‘He’s not this. He’s not that.’ I knew better. I wanted to prove to myself that last year wasn’t me.” Sports Illustrated

Asked if he has heard the growing social media buzz that that he might receive a max-type contract offer next summer, a la Klay Thompson, Butler nods and accepts the idea as both a challenge and an opportunity. “Why not have a [max contract] be a goal? When I hear ‘max player’ I just think about being able to take my family to Bora Bora or something, going on a nice vacation. Because I don’t really pay attention to the money,” Butler said. “I just love the game of basketball. As long as I’m happy and it’s my job, I’m good. Money has never been too much of a thing for me. I grew up without it. I can manage with the amount of money I have now.” Sports Illustrated

November 23, 2014 Updates

As for Butler's mindset after not getting an extension deal done with the Bulls, he shook his head when asked if there's any lingering resentment. "Nah, nah," said Butler, who will be a restricted free agent next summer. "I love the city of Chicago. I think everybody knows that. I just feel like I've just got to help win games, man. I want a championship. The money has never been an issue because I'm from Tomball. The money I make now is more than nothing. I just wanted to prove to my teammates, to my coaches, to the city, that I'm here to stay." USA Today Sports

November 18, 2014 Updates
November 16, 2014 Updates

But Butler's decision to get to the rim more is backed up in the numbers. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Butler came into Saturday's game averaging 5.7 field goal attempts inside 10 feet this season, out of 12.4 attempts total. Last season, over his first nine games, it was 2.8 field goal attempts inside 10 feet out of 7.6 attempts total. So what has changed? Butler's teammate Taj Gibson has his own idea. Like many inside the organization, Gibson believes it has a lot to do with Butler finding his confidence again. "He got away from just being around the practice facility here," Gibson said. "He got away from Chicago for a while, got a chance to really go home, be around family, work on his game. Sometimes those things are the key to help a player really get his mind right, help his game grow, and that's exactly how he's playing right now. He worked out on his game all summer, got away and came back with a new mentality, focused. ESPN.com

November 9, 2014 Updates
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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

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