Jimmy Butler agrees to five-year deal with Bulls


Jimmy Butler agrees to five-year deal with Bulls

The Jimmy Butler odyssey wasn’t really a painful ordeal at all, as the swingman agreed to a five-year deal with the Chicago Bulls, according to sources.

Butler, who turned down a contract in upwards of $40 million before the season and bet on himself, doubled down on the NBA casino, hitting a jackpot worth $95 million and ending speculation that he didn’t want to be in Chicago.

[ROTOWORLD: NBA Free Agency Live Blog]

Butler won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and set himself up for a big payday after a season in which he averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists, although the Bulls fell short of their goal of making the NBA Finals.

There was concern about Butler wanting to be in Chicago long-term, speculation he couldn’t play with Derrick Rose and that he wanted to hit unrestricted free agency quicker to the point that he would seek a shorter offer sheet from another franchise that would force the Bulls to match.

The Bulls, in what a team official termed “good business,” extended the never-used mechanism called a “maximum qualifying offer,” which meant opposing teams couldn’t sign Butler to a deal shorter than three years with no options for early termination.

Perhaps it brought Butler back to the table to negotiate with the Bulls quicker than he would’ve done so previously, but it wound up giving the Bulls just enough leverage to get Butler to commit to a max contract — and Butler will have the option to hit the open market after the 2018-19 season, after the salary cap explodes over the next two offseasons.

Butler’s return — along with that of Mike Dunleavy — means the Bulls will largely bring back the same core that fell short in the second round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the Cavs are bolstered by the return of Kevin Love, who missed that playoff series with a separated shoulder.

[RELATED - Mike Dunleavy coming back to the Bulls on three-year deal]

The Bulls are betting on Butler’s upward trajectory and his affirmed commitment to the franchise along with good health from Rose (presumably) and the change at head coach with Fred Hoiberg as reason why they can finally get over the hump to reach the NBA Finals.

Just as Butler bet on himself and won, the Bulls are doing the same thing, hoping it pays off for them.

Antoine Griezmann professes his love for Derrick Rose after winning World Cup


Antoine Griezmann professes his love for Derrick Rose after winning World Cup

Antoine Griezmann, you just won the World Cup, what are you going to do next?

Apparently, profess his love for Derrick Rose.

In the celebrations of France winning the World Cup on Sunday, French forward Griezmann spotted his teammate Paul Pogba getting interviewed by FOX Sports. Recognizing this was the American audience, Griezmann took the mic from FOX's Jenny Taft and had one thing to say:

"I love Derrick Rose."

Griezmann, who scored a goal in France's 4-2 win against Croatia in the final, is a big NBA fan. He has been spotted at multiple games over the years, including Game 5 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Cavs.

This also isn't the first time he has made a comment about D-Rose. He recently signed a contract extension with his club team, Atletico Madrid, but a year ago said the only way he would leave was to play with Rose.

"I would only leave Atleti to play with Derrick Rose," Griezmann said through translation.

In 2015 he posted an image of himself in a Derrick Rose Bulls jersey to his Instagram.

Later that year he took in a Bulls game and got a photo with Joakim Noah.

Maybe when the 27-year-old is ready to leave Europe, he will join a Major League Soccer team just so he can watch more NBA games.

UPDATE: Rose tweeted congratulations to Griezmann.

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

How Jabari Parker impacts Bulls’ salary cap in 2019

The Bulls ‘rebuild’ seems to be just a one-year experiment after the team signed Chicago native Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40-million dollar deal on Saturday. Although on first look Parker’s contract would seem to restrict what they can do in free agency next summer, the reality is that the 2nd year team option gives the Bulls plenty of flexibility with—or without- Parker next year.  

If the Bulls pick up the option on Parker, they will still be able to sign a max free agent next July if they make the right moves between now and July 1, 2019.

The NBA projects the 2019-20 cap will rise to $109 million, up from $101.9 million for the upcoming season. The league bases a ‘max’ salary on years of service. A 10-year vet like Kevin Durant is eligible for more ($38.2 million) than his teammate Klay Thompson ($32.7 million), an 8-year vet. If the Bulls keep Parker, they’ll enter free agency with approximately $15.4 million next summer—far short of the cap space needed for a player like Durant or Thompson, but that number is misleading. The $15.4 million also includes cap holds (salary slots assigned to a player based on several factors including previous year’s salary). The cap hold is designed to prevent teams from completely circumventing the soft cap model the league uses. The cap holds for Bobby Portis ($7.5 million) and Cameron Payne ($9.8 million) are just theoretical if the Bulls don’t sign either to a contract extension before the October 31, 2018 deadline. 

Let’s say the Bulls are in line to sign a star free agent like Thompson; all they would need to do is rescind any qualifying offer to Payne or Portis, and then renounce them as free agents. This would effectively take the cap holds off the Bulls’ cap sheet and give them approximately $32.7 million in cap space. Coincidently (or perhaps it’s no coincidence), that’s the exact salary a 7-9 year free agent like Thompson would command.

In order to create enough space for Durant and his increased ‘max’ slot, they would need to waive and stretch a player like Cristiano Felicio or incentivize a trade involving a player by attaching another asset in the deal, like a future 1st round pick.

If the Bulls decline the team option on Parker, then they will enter free agency with anywhere between $35 million and $53 million.