HoopsHype Jimmy Butler rumors

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March 2, 2015 Updates
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Butler's offensive emergence and defensive consistency have helped Chicago reach the top of the Central Division standings, despite injuries to Rose and Joakim Noah. But Butler's progress will almost certainly cost the Bulls a small fortune. Last fall they offered a contract worth more than $40 million over four years. Butler says a deal was "really close," but he chose to bet on himself instead. Next summer he's likely to weigh offers of $70 million over four years as a restricted free agent, though executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson has vowed to match them. "In terms of being a two-way player," says Thibodeau, "he's as good as it gets." Sports Illustrated

On the court, Butler admits, he compensated for feelings of inadequacy with an "ego problem." Envisioning himself as the next Tracy McGrady, the Rockets' star he idolized, Butler would brag to teammates that he could score 40 points on Derrick Rose, if the top player in the 2007 high school class would only dare come to Texas. But despite earning All-District honors as a senior, Butler failed to make real noise in Houston's AAU scene and received no Division I offers. "I was never good enough," he says, shaking his head. "It was always me against the world. I thought like that for so long." Sports Illustrated

February 25, 2015 Updates
February 15, 2015 Updates

Butler will be a restricted free agent this summer, and likely will attract plenty of interest from teams around the league — including the Knicks — for a max offer sheet, though the Bulls have said they will match any offer he gets. This comes after Butler turned down a less than max extension with Chicago over the summer — a move that looks as if it’s going to pay off financially for him. “I figured I was going to get a little bit of money either way,” Butler said with a smile. “I’ve just got to worry about basketball, and the rest will take care of itself.” New York Post

Pippen, who still works for the Bulls as an ambassador for the team, can't help but see the similarities between Butler's path to stardom and his own. When asked if he thought Butler could reach this high of a level -- playing amongst the game's elite Sunday night at Madison Square Garden -- Pippen, unlike many people around the league, says he isn't surprised. "Yeah, I did because I kind of see Jimmy's career a lot like mine," Pippen said. "Everybody doubted him and he's sort of been put behind the eight ball to some degree and ... everything that he's earned in this league, he's had to work for it. I think that's been great for him because he's been what the team has needed the last couple of seasons. A guy that's out there working hard and just don't really give a heck. That's totally helped his development as a player and as an individual." ESPN.com

February 14, 2015 Updates

Butler will be a restricted free agent this summer, and likely will attract plenty of interest from teams around the league — including the Knicks — for a max offer sheet, though the Bulls have said they will match any offer he gets. This comes after Butler turned down a less than max extension with Chicago over the summer — a move that looks as if it’s going to pay off financially for him. “I figured I was going to get a little bit of money either way,” Butler said with a smile. “I’ve just got to worry about basketball, and the rest will take care of itself.” New York Post

On Friday, Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler spoke highly of Crowder, his former Marquette teammate. “He’s an underdog, he plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he just works, man,” Butler said. “And he’s always been like that, from the first time I met him in junior college to now. So that’s what’s going to make him stick in this league. He’s not going to give up. He’s going to continue to grind.” In 27 games with the Celtics, Crowder is averaging 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds. “He used to make big shots down the stretch, man,” Butler said. “He won us a lot of games in college. He won us more games than I won us, for sure.” Boston Globe

February 13, 2015 Updates
February 12, 2015 Updates

Nick Friedell: Confirmed @Shams Charania report that Butler is dropping out of Skills Challenge on Saturday. Still hopes to play limited minutes in ASG. Butler's agent, Happy Walters, remains confident that Butler will be able to play Sunday as he continues to get treatment. Twitter @NickFriedell

Shams Charania: Chicago star Jimmy Butler is pulling his name from the NBA All-Star Skills Challenge, league sources tell RealGM. He has shoulder injury. Twitter @ShamsCharania

KC Johnson: Butler could still drop out of Skills Challenge. Thibodeau said Butler's Sunday participation is not determined. Butler declined comment. Twitter @KCJHoop

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