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Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler turned down a contract extension offer last month, and the numbers involved in that offer have now reportedly been revealed.
Butler and the Bulls had been in contract talks up until the October 31 deadline, but it was reported that the 25-year-old didn’t believe that the offer on the table was satisfactory.
As a result, he is set to become a restricted free agent next summer, but on the basis of his form so far this season it is likely that the Bulls will match any offer that he receives.
“According to a source, Butler turned down a four-year, $40 million-plus offer from the Bulls. After watching Klay Thompson get the max four-year, $70 million contract from the Warriors, Butler was willing to test the market as a restricted free agent and force the Bulls to make the tough decision,” Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Butler is averaging a team-high 21.6 points and 1.62 steals to go with 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists through the first 15 games of the season, and he continued that fine form in the win over the Boston Celtics on Friday with a team-high 22 points.
However, while his stock continues to rise and he is being tipped as an early contender for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, Butler has maintained a level head and insisted that he is merely a role player on a very good team.
“I’m not a star,’’ Butler said. “I’m a good role player on a really, really good team, a really, really deep team. I like being a role player. Star has never been next to Jimmy Butler’s name. It never will be. I’ll always be an under-the-radar dawg.”
Nevertheless, behind the scenes he will know that his form will reflect how much he is offered at the end of the season, and he is likely to be offered significantly more than the $40m offer last month.
Butler’s defensive prowess also makes him arguably one of the best two-way guards in the league, while he has also proven his iron will averaging 39.2 minutes per game so far this season.