The "G" stands for "Getting $95 million"

The "G" stands for "Getting $95 million"

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls are finalizing a five-year deal worth $95 million with a player option after the fourth season. Supposedly, teams quite simply gave up pursuing him, leading to Butler and the Bulls making a deal:

Teams pursuing Butler with offer sheet proposals have conceded and moved on, league sources said. Butler was a restricted free agent, and Chicago could've matched an offer sheet and retained him.

The Bulls must be overjoyed at this development, seeing as they won't have to re-visit these talks anytime soon. Butler could have taken Chicagos' QO and left after this season, or demanded a three-year with an opt-out. Instead, he's locking in for four full seasons, giving the Bulls ample time to build a championship roster around him.

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  • Once the Bulls gave him the full max QO, there was no point in any team tying up their cap space(even if only for 3 days) with a contract offer to Butler. the only real fear was that he might be insane enough to sign the regular QO.

    I wonder if this is the most money a 30th pick or later has ever gotten.

    Probably not, wasn't Gilbert Arenas originally a second round pick?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes Arenas was. So was your favorite player, Carlos Boozer :).

  • In reply to Roman F:

    You're right I totally forgot about him, at least his contract, bad as it was, was still less than Jimmy's. I think Arenas got a contract for over $100 million at one point.

  • 4 years is the exact length of the extension that did not get signed in October. So Jimmy gets the same 4 years, but at a massive increase from the $11-$12 million per that was discussed in October. He's getting an extra $25-$30 million over 4 years.

    Hope Butler trains-in-isolation again this summer, not just for his contract season.

    With Mike Dunleavy apparently back as well, the only flexibility for Bulls appears to be somehow trading Gibson or Noah for a top quality starter (SF?). That's if Bobby Portis is good enough. Similar to drafting Horace Grant allowed the trade of Charles Oakley

  • In reply to Edward:

    I doubt they trade for any kind of top quality starter. They don't do that. I think this is basically the team they roll with, along with an inexpensive veteran backup PG, could even be Brooks again.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    More like sane NBA teams don't trade away top quality starters, unless the player is overpaid or threatening to leave at the end of his contract. I certainly think the Bulls will be shopping Noah and Gibson, if they can't get a top quality starter with that it doesn't mean they didn't try.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I agree with you about Butler, I hope all the time that he's spending in Hollywood with Jimmy Kimmel doesn't go to his head.

  • All of the CBS technicalities in all the sports are just becoming too complicated. The gossip yesterday was that Butler only wanted a short term deal so he could take advantage of a supposed bump up in the salary cap. Now, apparently he is satisfied with $95 million over 5 years.

    The Bulls better hope that his knees last 5 years. We know what happened when another player was happily given a 5 year max contract.

  • In reply to jack:

    What's wrong with Butler's knees to make such a statement? Why are you worried about his knees?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I'm not worried about anything. It is the money belonging to the investors in CHICAGO PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP whose money is at risk, not mine.

    But did management know about D Rose's potential knee injuries when they said they were happy to give him the max contract?

  • Mort, great job staying on top of this story and keeping us updated, thanks!

  • Here is an excellent article that shows just how much money the top stars are looking at as the cap keeps increasing over the next 2 summers. Basically Lebron more than doubles the value of his 5 year deal in the summer of 2017 vs this summer(from $94 million to $204 million), plus the $45 million he makes over the next 2 seasons.

    From Business Insider Tony Manfred.

    "LeBron James is going to keep signing 1-year contracts, and it's going to make him a ton of money"

    When he returned to Cleveland last summer LeBron signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with an opt out clause after one year. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, he's expected to do the same thing this time around. He'll be able to be a free agent in the summer of 2016 and, perhaps, 2017 as well.

    By continuing to sign one-year deals, LeBron is going to make himself a ton of money in the long term. Based on our calculations, he'd make an extra $30 million by signing a maximum contract in the summer of 2016 than he would by signing a max contract now, and he'd make an extra $110 million more by waiting until 2017 to sign a max deal.

    The value of LeBron's max contract is tied to two things: the salary cap and the number of consecutive years he spends with the Cavs (an NBA provision known as "Bird Rights").

    The NBA salary cap is going to explode in the summer of 2016. As a result of the league's massive new TV deal, the salary cap is projected to jump from $67.1 million in 2015-16 to $89 million in 2016-17 and a whopping $108 million in 2017-18. Since LeBron has been in the league for more than 10 years, the value of his max contract starts at slightly less than 35% of the salary cap. With the salary cap about to jump, LeBron would be wise to wait and get ~35% of $89 million in 2016 (or, even better, ~35% of $108 million in 2017) rather than ~35% of $67 million now.

    LeBron's max contract right now starts at $22 million. Next summer it starts at $29 million, and in the summer of 2017 it starts at $35.6 million.

    That's a massive difference, but LeBron has an even bigger incentive to wait to sign a max deal when you factor in his Bird Rights status. Since LeBron has only been with the Cavs for one year, under NBA rules his max contract can only be four-years long, and his annual raises can only be 4.5% of his first-year salary.

    But if he re-signs with the Cavs on a one-year deal, Cleveland will get his "Early Bird Rights" in 2016 because he will have been with the team for two-straight years. That means they can give him a four-year max contract with 7.5% annual raises next summer.

    But if he signs two more one-year deals and waits to sign a max contract in the summer of 2017, Cleveland will have his full Bird Rights. As a result, they can give him a five-year max contract with 7.5% annual raises — the biggest contract an NBA player can get.

    When you combine these two factors (the exploding salary cap and Cleveland getting his Bird Rights), you end up with wildly different max contracts depending on when LeBron signs it. In 2015, LeBron can sign a four-year, $94.4 million contract. In 2016, he can sign a four-year, $125.3 million contract. And in 2017, he can sign a five-year, $204.4 million contract.

    The smartest thing that LeBron can due financially is sign two more one-year contracts, and then get that $200+ million deal in 2017. It'd certainly be a risk to pass up guaranteed money now in favor of chasing that mega-contract, but LeBron has never had injury problems, and if there's one 32-year-old who'd be worth a $200 million deal, you think it'd be LeBron.

    Read more:

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Let's see how long the Cavs owner can keep paying tax for being over the cap. The problem with teams staking up on stars is that eventually they will run out of options due to cap limitations and repeated tax punishments. Once they lock Lebron, they will surround him with minimal vets, since he will take about 50% of the salary cap. The good and bad of having a guy like Lebron on your team.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    He's maniacal, I have no doubt he'll spend as much as Lebron wants.

  • In reply to Chicagosportsguru:

    He already is, with Thompson at $80 million, Irving at $90+ million and Love at $110 million. Even Shumpert is getting $40 million and Mozgov will be up for a huge raise next summer with Varejao already on the books for $10 million per for 3 more years.

    Doesn't sound like surrounding him with a bunch of minimum vets to me. That sounds like they have a shot at breaking the Nets record of nearly $200 million in salary and taxes.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Besides LeBron being his own general manager and coach, you are discounting the reports that the cap is going to double, and that's why guys like LeBron have out options.

  • The Bulls are one quality backup PG/SG away from being a contender again. They have about 4M to spend on that, per cap. Specifically, they need a backup better than Brooks. Here is just a reminder of what we will have:
    - The depth on paper is back again
    - Rose will start the season with no restrictions
    - The team will have better chemistry than last year
    - McD, Mirotic and Snell will take off and will improve our scoring
    - Portis will be a beast from the bench and kill Thompson on boards
    - Noah will play for his new contract and will be back at elite defense
    - The offense will take a leap frog from last year

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    In reply to BullsDynasty:

    You better watch out..... some of the doom experts will have your head. Optimism is not always appreciated.

  • In reply to Sportsgod:

    Heh, if you ask the doom experts, they'll tell you to watch out because everyone here is a homer!

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    So it looks the Bulls have essentially the same team in place as last year except we don't know about a backup point guard role. And we don't know about the health of Noah and Gibson. So adding Portis is a good thing.

    Also one of the big positives is that DRose will start this season fresh without a rehab situation. I don't see any trades for Noah/Gibson until both come back and show they are healthy. But if they do, then I can see Gar/Pax making a trade by midseason. For now, the only clearly identified need is a backup point guard/shooting guard.

    So if they go with a diminutive change of pace point guard, they can try to re-sign Brooks or go after unrestricted free agents like J.J. Barrea. Leandro Barbosa, Shane Larkin, Jeremy Lin, Mo Williams, or Jason Terry. Out of that group, the only ones younger than Brooks are Larkin and Lin. I like Larkin. But for one year, I'd take Lin or Williams especially because word is that Cleveland wants him, too, and we can preempt that. Still I saw Larkin in college and he has tremendous athleticism and with a change of scenery he could possibly be like a DJ Augustyn backup because nobody saw that coming either.

    Hopefully, it won't matter too much because DRose comes back to MVP form. But also, I hope Hoiberg considers using E'tuan Moore a lot more as back-up point guard and occasional back-up 2 guard. And although Hinrich re-upped for 1 year, he stays at the end of the bench behind Moore.

    If we stay pretty much the same as last year, we have a pretty good team. If we get better years from DRose, Noah, and Gibson with similar years from all the other starters and improvement from Mirotic, Snell, Doug and E'tuan and some impact from Portis, we are right there at being a championship level team. I hope so.

  • Not an unreasonable(mostly optimistic) take on things, if somewhat ignoring the hole at starting SF. However, if you have no shot at beating a healthy Cleveland team are you really at championship level.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    How are Mirotic and Portis supposed to get any significant minutes with Gibson, Noah, and Gasol ahead of them?

    This was a problem last year and that was with Nazr getting DNP's.

    I like Gasol as a person but I wouldn't mind it if he was the one traded since he has a problem coming off the bench. If Noah is healthy again, he should be the starting Center with Taj the PF. Mirotic and Portis come in as needed.

  • In reply to Cali786:

    That's precisely the way that I look at it, but I believe that puts you in the minority here, as most cannot wait to get rid of Noah, the same guy they didn't want to trade for Aldridge or Love a year ago.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    They need a backup PG/SG to fill out the team, but to really be a contender, Bulls are missing a starting caliber wing player. Maybe Snell or McDoug prove to be that player but if they don't, then the Bulls will fall short of truly contending unless they can swing a deal for a Rudy Gay type of player. We all like Dunleavy but he's more of a bench player.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Welcome on board the Rudy Gay train.

    I realize that there is little hope of this happening, likely because the Bulls aren't even trying and Sacto isn't particularly interested in what we have to offer, Taj, Noah or Gasol and their own draft pick back, and I'd throw in Dunleavy(and of course Hangdogshit).

    But right now, I really cannot come up with anything better that fits the Bulls biggest need and is even remotely within the realm of possibilities..Heck, you'd probably have to throw in McDNP if that's what it takes to make it happen.

    By the way, I noticed that Sacto has already given up on Stuaskas(the 8th pick last year) a guy that some people here wanted instead of McDNP. They are supposedly salary dumping him along with some other deadweight(Thompson and Landry) to Philly for overseas considerations. I would find it hard to believe that they would be sending them Dario Saric for that pupu platter of poo poo.

    I wish the Bulls would try to pry Saric away from them with pretty much anybody other than Butler, Rose, Niko or Portis. He's likely not coming over until 2017 but we should be in full rebuild by then anyway.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Best that I can tell, they are still missing a starting caliber SF, or wing if you prefer. Hope that doesn't qualify me as a doom and gloomer.

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