(CBS) The Bulls have extended All-Star wing Jimmy Butler a maximum qualifying offer of five years worth around $90 million, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Pincus, a move that adds a wrinkle to Butler’s free agency.
By virtue of the Bulls extending that, any offer sheet Butler signs from another team must be for at least three years, options excluded. That’s significant because Butler reportedly wants to pursue a shorter-term deal so that he can become a free agent sooner and maximize his earning potential when the salary cap spikes in the summer of 2016 as a mega TV deal kicks in.
By extending the maximum qualifying offer, any offer sheet Butler now signs with another team would, at the earliest, have him becoming a free agent in 2018, which may be later than he wants. If the Bulls hadn’t extended such an offer, other teams could’ve…
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