NBA: Chicago Bulls at Minnesota Timberwolves

Jimmy Butler has been working extremely hard this season; he made the All-Star game, won Most Improved Player and now that he’s due for a new contract, he’ll get the max allowed.  Butler will be a restricted free agent and the Chicago Bulls are expected to do everything in their power to keep him but he’ll certainly have other teams at his door.  So will he directly sign with the Bulls or will he sign an offer sheet somewhere else and force the Bulls to match.  Getting an offer definitely won’t be a problem.

via RealGM:

Outside of Chicago, teams are already preparing possible maximum-salary offer sheets for Butler in free agency, including the Los Angeles Lakers as one of several expected suitors, league sources told RealGM.

The Lakers are certainly going to strike out again here, it’s highly doubtful that Butler will go to this team.  Butler wants to stay in Chicago and the Bulls want to keep him.  If the Lakers sign him to an offer sheet, they’d almost certainly just be tying up their cap space for a few days until the Bulls match – all while other free agents sign elsewhere.   One of those other free agents could be Kevin Love.  The forward has reiterated that he doesn’t have plans to leave Cleveland at the moment but many are still predicting that he will opt-out and become a free agent.  The Lakers are one of the main contenders to land him if he does decide to leave.

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