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Free agent rumor: Jimmy Butler plans to take short-term offer

Could the Celtics land Jimmy Butler? Maybe, but don't get your hopes up too much.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone pretty much assumes that restricted free agent Jimmy Butler is going to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls.  They are more than willing to give him a full max deal, which nobody can match.  However, it sounds like he's looking for something more short term in order to take advantage of the raising cap int he coming years.

Sources: Jimmy Butler plans to pursue shorter-term offer sheets - Yahoo Sports

Unless Bulls officials bring Butler a shorter-term deal that's more favorable to his long-term earning power, they'll likely be waiting to match an offer sheet, league sources said.

Butler could sign a three-year offer sheet that guarantees him $50 million, but allows for a player option on the third year that could allow him to move into unrestricted free agency and re-sign for a five-year, maximum deal worth as much as $190 million. It is understandable why Chicago wants Butler locked into a five-year, $90 million max extension under the current salary structure, but that appears to be a deal Butler plans to pass on.

If he wants out of Chicago badly enough, his agent can get another team to include a trade kicker and threaten to leave via free agency as soon as his deal is up which might slightly discourage the Bulls from matching.  I'm sure the Celtics and several other teams would be happy to accommodate Butler with an offer sheet if they thought there was any chance that the Bulls might not match.

Also, Butler could attempt to persuade his team to sign and trade him elsewhere.  The Celtics certainly have the resources and assets to get a deal done that would make everyone happy.  Odd and unexpected things happen every offseason that nobody sees coming.

With all that said, I think the most likely scenario is that Butler re-signs with the Bulls.  Either by taking the full max offer or by getting an offer sheet from someone and seeing the Bulls match.  But that won't stop teams like the Celtics from trying.

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