Isn’t it about time to sign Jimmy Butler to a contract extension and get it out of the way?
Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson have more in common then simply playing for the Chicago Bulls. All three signed contract extensions with the Bulls before ever reaching Restricted Free Agency. Now, it’s Jimmy Butler’s turn.
Jimmy Butler is set to enter the final year of his four-year rookie deal this season. The Bulls have until the beginning of November to negotiate a new deal with Butler or else he’ll enter the off-season as a Restricted Free Agent.
“A restricted free agent is subject to his current team’s Right of First Refusal, meaning that the player can be signed to an offer sheet by another team, but his current club reserves the right to match the offer and keep the player.” – cbafaq.com
This summer, we witnessed wings Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons ink huge deals after their teams allowed them to reach restricted free agency.
Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe remain unsigned and the process may have soured their relationships with their current teams.
This is why it’s imperative, in my opinion, to lock Jimmy Butler up to an extension as quickly as possible.
Butler is coming off a season in which he received 2nd Team All-NBA Defensive Team Honors, was 12th in Steals and 8th in Defensive Win Shares (An estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense).
While his offensive numbers dipped last season, it is my opinion that much of that could be contributed to the loss of Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. On a more balanced team, everyone performs better. Before giving Butler the opportunity to thrive on a more balanced team, let’s get him signed on for the future.
What sort of numbers would it take to get a deal done? I would start with an offer matching the deal Celtics guard Avery Bradley signed this off-season of 4 years $32 million dollars.
Bradley, similarly to Butler, is regarded around the league for his perimeter defense. Both are also capable of playing multiple positions (Butler[SG/SF] + Bradley[SG/PG).
If it requires more money to sign Butler, I’m all for it. With a new TV Deal set to be announced in 2016 many experts are predicting a signifigant increase in the salary cap. In this new salary cap era, all players will be receiving bigger paychecks.
The Bulls as an organization have been great about extending players before they reach free agency. Since 2009, the Bulls have effectively re-signed or traded all 1st round picks prior to the beginning of their restricted free agency.
The front office is often lauded for being cheap, yet they have been willing to negotiate with and sign players prior to free agency, a trend I hope continues with Jimmy Butler.