Report: Jimmy Butler Leaning Toward Long-Term Deal with Bulls

By David Kenyon

There’s no denying Jimmy Butler’s NBA future is bright. The biggest question, however, is where his star will be shining.

Although the Chicago Bulls have the rights to the restricted free agent, Butler was reportedly seeking short-term offer sheets to maximize his earning potential when the salary cap begins to spike after the 2015-16 campaign.

However, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Butler might have changed his tune and is “leaning strongly toward” a five-year deal.

Butler, who was named the 2014-15 Most Improved Player of the Year, would have received a max contract from any interested franchise.

The shooting guard racked up a league-high 38.7 minutes per game last season, tallying 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals. Butler earned his first All-Star nod, boasted a 122 offensive rating and compiled a 104 defensive mark.

The Los Angeles Lakers were considered the favorite to land Butler’s services if Chicago did not extend or match a maximum offer.

Photo: USA Today Sports