Cleat Geeks

Bulls Resign Butler, Dunleavy



Right, Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34), with Chicago Bulls guard Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34), right, is congratulated by Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) after making a three-point basket against the Boston Celtics during the second half at the United Center in Chicago on Monday, March 31, 2014. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls knew what they had to accomplish this off-season: resigning Jimmy Butler.  Butler became an important piece to the Bulls after his dominating performance all of last season.  Butler put up career highs across the board and won the NBA Most Improved Player Award.  We all knew that Butler would cash in this off-season, and the Bulls knew it had to be with them.

With NBA free agency kicking off on July 1st, Butler would become a restricted free agent.  The Chicago Bulls said they would match any offer that Butler received in order to keep him in Chicago.  Butler has stated that he would love to stay in Chicago, but players can change their mind real fast when a lot of money is thrown at them.

Jimmy Butler agreed to a five-year 95 million dollar max contract today with the Bulls according to sources, with a player option for the fifth year.  Butler previously rejected a four-year 44 million dollar deal in October due to his confidence that a breakout season would boost the dollar amount.  Here is Butler in October.

“It came down to me deciding that I want to bet on myself,” Butler told Yahoo Sports in October. “It was about me believing that I put the work in this summer to become a better player with the hope that my improvement will give the Bulls a better chance to win a championship.”

Butler averaged a career best 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assist last season along with an All-Star appearance, the first of his career.

There were reports that the Lakers wanted to sign Butler to a one year contract, but those were quickly shut down after his quick decision to stay in Chicago.jimmy_butler

With Butler’s sharp shooting and ability to get out in transition, he should thrive from offensive genius and new Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg.  Hoiberg was hired back at the beginning of June after the highly expected firing of Tom Thibodeau.  Hoiberg brings a great offensive mind to the Bulls which was something Thibodeau lacked during his tenure with the Bulls.

Butler was not the only move by the Bulls on July 1st.  The Bulls quickly resigned SF Mike Dunleavy to a three-year 14.4 million dollar deal on Monday afternoon despite the interest from LeBron James to join him in Cleveland.  Dunleavy, 34, started 63 games for the Bulls, averaging 9.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.

The Bulls are sitting pretty well with their current roster.  After adding Bobby Portis in the draft, the Bulls added some depth in the front-court.  Resigning Butler and Dunleavy keeps the Bulls right there at the top of the East.  The Bulls are still in the hunt for a backup point guard since it looks like Aaron Brooks will not return to Chicago.  The Bulls have shown interest in guards JJ Barea and Patrick Beverly, both unrestricted free agents.

Free agency has only been open one day, but the Bulls remained busy.  Over the next few weeks, they will look to give Derrick Rose a backup and see what they could get for Joakim Noah.

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