Report: Jimmy Butler Wants to Sign a Contract With the Lakers

Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler broke out during the 2014-2015 season, averaging 20 plus points per game, leading him to become the Bulls most dangerous offensive weapon. At the end of the Bulls playoff run which had them losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, there was reported chemistry issues between Jimmy Butler and Bulls point guard Derrick Rose over the ball in the Bulls offense.

From Dan Bernstein of CBS Chicago:

Rose was never asked directly why he disappeared when his team needed him most, but sources tell 670 The Score that a common NBA problem affected the Bulls at the worst possible time – two alpha dogs and only one basketball.

It looked strange when wing Jimmy Butler kept flashing to Rose’s side of the floor, calling for the ball, as the Bulls’ offense was drying up. Rose was all too happy to oblige instead of waving Butler off and taking charge, either resetting the called play or taking his man – often the undrafted Matthew Dellavedova – hard to the rim for at least a likely foul.

Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer.

Another thing that appears to be a problem with Butler and the Bulls is the firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau, as it was suspected for most of the 2014-2015 season that Thibodeau would get fired. With the Rose and Thibodeau scenarios, it seems like Jimmy Butler wants to join the Los Angeles Lakers now after saying he wants to remain with the Bulls this off-season.

Per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Lastly, Chicago forward Jimmy Butler hopes to take his talents elsewhere and take advantage of the new television deal after his career year coincided with Tom Thibodeau’s firing and Derrick Rose’s chemistry issues. Although Butler wants to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers, according to a league source familiar with his thinking, the Bulls are expected to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

The only problem the Lakers would have with prying Butler away from the Bulls is that Butler is a restricted free agent, meaning the Bulls can match any offer that Butler gets and have 3 days to decided if they want to match the offer or not. The Bulls are likely to do that, and the Lakers cap space would have to be on hold for as long as 72 hours waiting for the Bulls while other Lakers free agent targets can go off the board.

Butler more than likely wants a one-year deal with maybe a player option attached to it so that he can get a larger max contract when the new TV deal kicks in, which we will provide more insight on in a future article on how much more NBA players can be making in 2016-2017.

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