Report: Jimmy Butler, Bulls end extension talks without deal
Midnight on Friday is the deadline for members of the 2011 draft class to reach extensions.
Butler is entering his fourth season in the NBA since being selected with the No. 30 pick in 2011 out of Marquette. He is considered one of the top perimeter defenders in the league.
The 25-year-old averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals last season in helping the Bulls post a 48-34 record and earn the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.
“It came down to me deciding that I want to bet on myself,” Butler told Yahoo Sports in a text message on Friday. “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.” [...]
“All the [rookie extension] deals done so far have shown that teams are building around their stars of the future, and they’re compensating those players as such,” agent Happy Walters told Yahoo Sports on Friday. “I was under the impression Jimmy was also viewed as one of those future building blocks with the Bulls.
“We tried like heck to get something done, but ultimately, the Bulls wanted a ‘hometown’ discount. While understandable, I doubt their GM or coaches give Mr. Reinsdorf a discount when negotiating their own deals.”
Butler missed the Bulls' season-opening win over the New York Knicks after injuring his thumb in a preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets (it remains unclear how much time Butler will miss). The Bulls, ranked 4th in SI.com's preseason power rankings, host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.