Although the Bulls have offered him a five-year max contract, Jimmy Butler remains "disinclined" to sign in hopes of securing a shorter deal, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.
Because Butler is a restricted free agent, his options are limited. Butler, like many free agents this summer, would rather sign for one or two years with an additional player option, which offers flexibility and allows him to take advantage of next summer's rising salary cap. However, Chicago has little to no incentive to offer him a short-term deal since he can't sign anywhere else without Chicago allowing it. It's in the Bulls' best interest to lock him up long-term.
Now, the question is what type of deal Butler is able to negotiate, since Chicago is bringing him back one way or another. Because the Bulls submitted a max qualifying offer, the CBA dictates that any deal outside of Chicago that Butler signs must be at least three guaranteed years. While he can sign with another team and force the Bulls to match that, he has already postponed his free agency meetings with teams, indicating he might not even try that approach.
The only way Butler can be a free agent again next summer is by taking the one-year qualifying offer of $4.4 million, which is a high risk, high reward move. Otherwise, even though he's disinterested in a long-term deal, it may be the only viable option.
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