Lakers Rumors: Breaking Down Jimmy Butler's Interest in LA

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2015

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 14: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls stands on the court during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2015 at the United Center in Chicago,Illinois NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to revamp a team that historically is not used to bottom-dwelling.

To that end, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, shooting guard Jimmy Butler's "intrigue with signing a potential Los Angeles Lakers offer sheet has increased."

A restricted free agent of the Chicago Bulls, Butler is searching for short-term offer sheets. It is expected that Butler will reject a maximum five-year, $90 million deal from the Bulls on July 1, sources told Wojnarowski.

The Bulls will have an opportunity to match any offer sheets sent Butler's way due to his restricted status. That seems to be exactly what will happen when Butler starts meeting with various teams in July.

With the salary cap's restructuring in 2016, Butler seems to be looking for big-time money, hence his apprehension toward signing a max-deal with Chicago this offseason. According to Wojnarowski:

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.

Butler has risen dramatically to become one of the NBA's most dynamic players. In 2012-13, he was getting about 26 minutes per game with 8.6 points. This season as a starter, he averaged 20.0 points per game, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

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The Bulls will institute a new regime after the firing of Tom Thibodeau and introduction of former Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg.

With the uncertain longevity of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers will be looking for a shooting guard to help fill a possible void. Current shooting guards other than Bryant listed on the Lakers' roster include Nick Young, Jabari Brown, Vander Blue, Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington and Wesley Johnson.


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