Jimmy Butler postponed his free agency meeting with the Boston Celtics after the Chicago Bulls reportedly offered him a maximum five-year, $90 million contract Monday, per ESPN analyst Chris Broussard. The Bulls forward also postponed meetings with the Los Angles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Philadelphia 76ers, according to sources.
The 27-year-old had a remarkable breakout season in 2014-15, averaging 20 points and 5.8 rebounds per game en route to his first All-Star selection. Butler is now searching for the big summer payday he’s earned.
With a thin free-agent pool this off-season, Bulls executive vice president John Paxson already has stated his team will match any other team’s offer sheet. The organization, though, would prefer agreeing on a deal before Butler can officially hit the open market.
The Bulls previously extended Butler a one-year qualifying offer worth $4.5 million, cementing his status as a restricted free agent. Because the Bulls have offered Butler a second contract, any offer sheet he signs from another team has to be for a minimum of three years.
Butler, who previously expressed a desire to sign a shorter contract, could sign a four-year deal with a player option after the third year, allowing him to take advantage of new salary cap money.
The NBA’s free agency period begins Wednesday, and while the Celtics may be out of the running for Butler, the team will still look to make a big splash at some point this summer.
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