Outside of Leonard, Cousins and Butler may be the most likely to switch teams. Per a source close to Butler, he’s open to the idea of moving on from the Timberwolves to play alongside James in Los Angeles.
As with Irving, our panel sees New York as Butler's most likely destination, though it's difficult to see at this moment how the Knicks would create the cap space for both of them (not to mention the chance Durant chooses New York too). Perhaps most telling about these results though is the fact that 10 possible Butler destinations were listed, in addition to his current team. Butler was also the only player in our Forecast for whom his current team didn't finish first or second in the voting, with only 12 percent of panelists seeing Minnesota as his long-term home. Expect the four-time All-Star to have a new team next summer.
A year out from what could be an enormous 2019 free agency in the NBA, there are rumors about the next potential super-team. Two league sources told Business Insider that there is a buzz about the Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler teaming up next summer, with one source saying the chatter is "substantial." Both sources also said the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players if they are indeed keen on teaming up.
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves All-Star Jimmy Butler has officially turned down the Wolves' 4-year, $110M range extension offer, per owner Glen Taylor. Full interview posting soon, which includes stuff on KAT extension talks, Thibs, filling out the roster, and #LosLynx.
Boston hasn't included Jaylen Brown, sources say. As I wrote here, it might make more sense to offer Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward before Brown, but I don't see either happening. Boston is confident it can re-sign Irving despite chatter -- credible chatter -- that Irving and Jimmy Butler would like to play together, per league sources. They've earned such confidence.
A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler are still trying to figure out a way to play together.
And while he has seen improvement with his new team, will it be enough to keep him around when he can opt out and become a free agent next season? “Decisions I make, the money, my contract, all of that will handle itself. I don’t ever worry about my money. I already have enough money for the rest of my life. It’s all about winning.’’
Team president Michael Reinsdorf is a huge Butler fan, and the feeling is mutual. Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and a soon-to-be draft pick might need some tough love. “If the time comes where I say, ‘You know what, I do want to end this thing in a Bulls jersey,’ I think that would be amazing. But it’s all about being wanted and winning.’’
Me: They can take you off the market this summer with a renegotiation and extension. How important is it for that not to be an issue going into 2019? JB: Me? Me: You. JB: Oh, I’m not worried about it. I mean, in the most humble way possible, if they don’t take care of me this summer, I think the summer after that, I’m’a end up playing somewhere. Let’s not worry about that. Look, money’s never the issue for me. If you win, that takes care of everything. That’s what I’m trying to do right now. When that presents itself, we’ll think about it and talk about it.
As the Los Angeles Lakers become more realistic about the franchise's chances of snaring superstars in the free agent class of 2018, the front office is increasingly looking through a longer lens in its team building process, league sources told ESPN. The Lakers aren't abandoning a summer pursuit of stars, but rather recalibrating on the possibility of a 2019 class that could include San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Golden State's Klay Thompson and Minnesota's Jimmy Butler, league sources told ESPN.
A question from Twitter: What will get you to sign an extension here with your contract set to expire in 2019? Jimmy Butler: Got to win. We have to win. We’re doing a great job of that now, but if I’m winning, I’m happy. I’m not worried that it’s negative 50 degrees outside. I just want to win. I want to be happy. I want to be around good people. I think we have that right now.
Jimmy Butler has a message for some of his former Bulls teammates who might have a ‘‘so-called dislike’’ for Dwyane Wade. ‘‘Hell, probably some of them can’t stand or don’t like me,’’ Butler told the Sun-Times in a phone interview Thursday. ‘‘That’s fine. I’m still waking up fortunate and blessed every day, just like Dwyane is. He still has a fabulous family and a lot more important things to worry about than the opinions of others. ‘‘But if they dislike him because the guy wants to win, well, then that team has some serious problems on the way.’’
Jimmy Butler has agreed to a five-year, $95 million maximum contract to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Butler's deal will include a player option after the fourth year of the deal, sources told Yahoo.
KC Johnson: Here's more optimism for why Butler verbal agreement could come today: Bulls open to player option. Should be either 3/1 or 4/1 max.
Ideally, Butler is seeking a three-year maximum deal with a player option for a fourth season, sources said. That deal would be worth roughly $51 million.
Eric Pincus: The Chicago Bulls have given Jimmy Butler both a qualifying offer AND a max qualifying offer. If Jimmy Butler signs an offer sheet with another team, it must be for at least 3 years w/o options (can be a 4th w/option) @BBallInsiders
Steve Kyler: Bulls can influence with a maximum qualifying offer. Was told Jimmy might sign Qualifier if Bulls force his hand
A funky, season-ending loss to the Cavaliers in which Rose played a passive second half as Butler shot 12 times has stirred questions about their chemistry now that Butler has joined Rose as a primary scorer. But a league source insisted Butler possibly signing a shorter-term deal in restricted free agency is based on the changing financial landscape coming with the league's new TV deal. "I haven't seen (friction)," said general manager Gar Forman, who has talked to Butler recently. "In all our minds, you've got two guys who can attack, want to run, can play off the dribble and playmake for themselves and others. They haven't had a chance to do it a whole lot because of the injuries. But there's no reason those two shouldn't be able to play at a high level and be one of the best backcourts in the league."
Jimmy Butler’s impending free agency — restricted free agency, it should be said — will be priority No. 1 come July 1, as all the rumors about Butler possibly looking for a shorter contract will be met with intent. “Our goal all along is to have Jimmy here long-term, and we feel real confident in our situation, how well he fits and that Jimmy’s comfortable in Chicago,” Forman said.
Steve Kyler: A couple of follow up comments on @WojYahooNBA's Jimmy Butler story... Most of what's been said recently, is what I have been saying all year -- structure of the deal matters more than length. A number of high profile free agents are likely choosing option laden deals to insure they can dip into new TV deal economy in 2017. I have been told by a few agents they want their guys covered through a possible 2017 NBA Lockout, not much longer than that. Specific to Butler and his camp, they are not overly concerned about long-term security aspect of a new deal. Rather maximize earnings. Something else to note -- more than a couple of the restricted free agents have made it clear they would sign Qualifier if thing go south.
As Butler spends time in Los Angeles this summer, a stretch that’s included an overseas “Entourage” promotional jaunt with producer Mark Wahlberg, Butler’s intrigue with signing a potential Los Angeles Lakers offer sheet has increased, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Butler has preliminary plans to pursue meetings with several teams once free agency starts in July, sources said. Several teams pursuing Butler told Yahoo Sports that they’re under the impression a short-term, max money offer sheet is the wisest way to approach Butler this summer.
July 31, 2021 | 6:10 pm EDT Update
Jordan Schultz: #Lakers are “very interested” in the prospect of signing Carmelo Anthony, per a league source. Melo has been linked to the Lakers as a possibility, given his friendship w/LeBron dating back to high school. Anthony drilled a career-best 40.9 percent from 3 last season w/Portland.
Will Guillory: The Pelicans have declined the team option on forward Didi Louzada, per league source. The 2019 2nd round pick played 3 games with the Pels last season after spending a couple years in Australia.
Andrew Lopez: Pelicans have declined the team option on Didi Louzada, sources confirm. However, sources say the team also extended a qualifying offer to Louzada with the hope of keeping him long term.
July 31, 2021 | 5:23 pm EDT Update
As it turns out, the Celtics’ trade for Josh Richardson may have been insurance for a free-agent priority that is not working out so well. According to a league source, negotiations between the Celtics and Evan Fournier are close to stalling, with the team unwilling to meet the valuable wing player’s asking price of $80 million over four years.
Though it’s unclear what the Celtics are offering, “it’s not looking good,” said the source. As evidenced by reports that the Knicks and Fournier have developed a mutual interest, the Celtics now face stiff competition.