The Chicago Bulls have made their move on restricted free agent Jimmy Butler as the team has offered the guard a max and qualifying offer according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
The Chicago Bulls have given Jimmy Butler both a qualifying offer AND a max qualifying offer @BBallInsiders
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 29, 2015
The Bulls are planning on keeping Butler after the two failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension last Fall. Butler gambled by not taking the Bulls offer last year and the guard had a career year averaging 20.0 points, 3.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game.
By making a maximum qualifying offer, it guarantees a five-year deal for Butler at a maximum salary. He would also get a 7.5 percent raise annually. The regular qualifying offer would allow Butler to forgo a long-term deal and become an unrestricted free agent in 2016. The salary of a regular qualifying offer would be around $4.4 million per year.
With the NBA salary expected to jump in 2016 with the NBA’s new TV deal, Butler is likely looking to get a max contract as an unrestricted free agent. That would mean the regular qualifying offer would fit him. Which is also the Bulls worst nightmare.
The maximum QO for Jimmy Butler is the right strategy by the Bulls. Prevents S/T, Limits options to very few. Game of chicken it appears
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) June 29, 2015
It was reported by Mark Medina that Butler wants to sign a 1-year-deal with the Lakers then pursue a max contract. But due to rules int he CBA, Butler can only sign a one-year deal with the Chicago Bulls.
Butler can sign an offer sheet with any team but it would have to be a three-year deal. The Bulls would be able to match any offer sheet he signs. It sounds like it’s going to be an interesting next few weeks.