It's looking like there won't be any last-minute contract extension for Jimmy Butler. The 25-year-old swingman has rejected the Bulls' "final offer" and plans to enter restricted free agency next summer, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
This comes straight from Butler:
"It came down to me deciding that I want to bet on myself," Butler told Yahoo Sports in a text message on Friday. "It was about me believing that I put the work in this summer to become a better player with the hope that my improvement will give the Bulls a better chance to win a championship."
While there technically is time left to get a deal done, it appears the Bulls may be done negotiating. The "final offer" was reportedly made on Monday, and Butler's agent said the team was looking for a "hometown discount:"
"All the [rookie extension] deals done so far have shown that teams are building around their stars of the future, and they're compensating those players as such," Walters told Yahoo Sports on Friday. "I was under the impression Jimmy was also viewed as one of those future building blocks with the Bulls.
"We tried like heck to get something done, but ultimately, the Bulls wanted a ‘hometown' discount. While understandable, I doubt their GM or coaches give Mr. Reinsdorf a discount when negotiating their own deals."
It's unclear just what Butler was seeking and what the Bulls were offering, although ESPN's Jeff Goodman quickly deleted a tweet that said he was seeking a four-year, $48 million deal. I probably would be willing to go that high if I were the Bulls, but it seems they're going to make him prove it on the court this season. A good year could lead to a max offer sheet next offseason, forcing the Bulls to decide whether or not they want to shell out that kind of cash.
Gap between Bulls, Butler has moved from $4M annually to $2.5M and now is at $2M.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 31, 2014
MORE UPDATES: Posturing!
Bulls GM Gar Forman tells @WaddleandSilvy that while he doesn't think Butler deal gets done there's always hope until deadline passes.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) October 31, 2014
Butler says "I did" when asked if he expected a deal to get done today, then added, "I still think it will, to tell you the truth.— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) October 31, 2014