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The Chicago Bulls expect to sign Jimmy Butler to a maximum contract this summer, according to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

Butler will enter restricted free agency after reportedly turning down a four-year, $40 million offer from the Bulls in October.

As a restricted free agent, Butler will be able to sign an offer sheet with any team, but Chicago has the right of first refusal and can match any offer.

The report says that the Bulls are planning to take a "proactive approach" in negotiations with Butler.

The team expects to sign him to a max deal "before another team even gets involved to tempt him with an offer sheet," even if it requires paying the luxury tax, according to the report.

"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." [...]

"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."


Butler, 25, is in the midst of a breakout season.

Through 34 games, The 6-foot-7 small forward has averaged 21.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists while posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 21.8 and maintaining his reputation as one of the league's top wing defenders.
http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/10/jimmy-butler-bulls-max-contract-free-agent
 

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Good to hear. Honestly shouldn't be a surprise either, Jimmy is quite possibly our most valuable player & asset. He is basically establishing himself as a star this season and rule #1 in NBA management is you pay to keep your stars.

The only thing that makes me nervous is that Jimmy might be more on an extended hot streak, and there's always a chance he could regress down a bit. I mean, the improvement he's had is almost too good, too fast, and teams are going to start figuring him out, if they haven't already somewhat. His numbers in January have already started to dip a little and also remember he leads the league in minutes which could make the numbers look better than they are. Put Jimmy at a more reasonable 32-34 minutes per game, and he is probably more like 16-17 ppg, 5 reb, 3 assists, 1.5 steals.

So is that max money? Well for Jimmy I think so because his defense is just that damn good to boot. Either way you've gotta keep him no matter what. Fortunately he is restricted and seems to enjoy wearing a Bulls jersey, and management & Thibs clearly love him.
 

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P.S. You want to know why fans would make terrible GMs? Not 6-8 months ago, seemed like half of the RealGM board wanted to trade or "upgrade" from Jimmy on the wing due to his poor offense. I thought it was laughable at the time, if nothing else b/c Jimmy's elite D, and even more so now. Too bad we didn't get a discount contract extension locked up this past summer, but clearly Jimmy knew he could play better this year...so kudos to him for going out there and proving it.
 

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Jimmy doing his best in January to put some doubt back into people's minds about whether he's a max guy. It has not been good. The dropoff while Dunleavy has been out has been significant. I hope he rights the ship.
 

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Jimmy doing his best in January to put some doubt back into people's minds about whether he's a max guy. It has not been good. The dropoff while Dunleavy has been out has been significant. I hope he rights the ship.
It's kind of odd, it seemed earlier in the season the Bulls were setting up a ton of isolation plays for Jimmy. Jimmy would almost always power his way in for a score, get a nice look for a 10-12 footer, or draw a foul. It seems lately they haven't been teeing up the isolations nearly as much. I could be wrong, just a casual observation. I suppose this could be opponent adjustments too, possibly putting bigger/stronger defenders on Jimmy now.
 

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Last ten games.

16.4 ppg 35%fg 6rb 3ast

From what I have seen, its pretty easy to understand why his numbers have dipped. Other teams have made adjustments to the way he plays, we saw this with Noah who had a huge month a year or two ago, we saw it with Taj Gibson who had a big stretch as well in the past, couple that with some regression to the mean and this is what you get.

Now its up to Butler to make his own adjustments. Teams aren't falling for the pump fake as much, teams are cutting his driving lanes and are daring him to take a jumper. Teams are figuring out his driving tendency's which is evidenced by his drop in FTA's. 9 FTA's in November, 7 in December and now 6 this month.
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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I don't see him as a MAX player - more of a Demar Derozan-type
 

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Oladipo for the people
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I don't see him as a MAX player - more of a Demar Derozan-type
Butler has better D, but I like Derozan more on offense, so I agree with the comparison.

Like someone else said, teams are now scheming around Jimmy, so I doubt the 20+ppg are going to continue until he figures out how to play with the increased coverage.
 

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Butler has better D, but I like Derozan more on offense, so I agree with the comparison.

Like someone else said, teams are now scheming around Jimmy, so I doubt the 20+ppg are going to continue until he figures out how to play with the increased coverage.
It will be interesting to see how Jimmy can adjust to what the opposing defenses are doing. He seems to have a good "basketball IQ", so with some help from the Bulls coaching staff, he may succeed.
 

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i don't know if he is a true max player. let him do what he was doing when he was on fire for a whole season, and then maybe. until then, not yet.
 
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