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Report: Lakers Intend To Offer Jimmy Butler A Max Contract

(CBS) After a breakout season in which Bulls wing Jimmy Butler made his first All-Star team and was named the league's Most Improved Player, it's a near certainty that he will command a great deal of attention when he enters restricted free agency this summer.

In fact, such interest is already starting to leak out as Butler and the Bulls have split the first four games with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Los Angeles Lakers intend to offer Butler a max contract this summer, according to a report from RealGM's Shams Charania. They're one of "several expected suitors" for Butler outside of Chicago, Charania reported.

The Bulls have the right to match any offer sheet from another team, and all indications are they intend to do so. Butler has also made clear that he loves playing in Chicago and wants to remain a Bull.

Butler averaged 20.0 points this season, one of just 15 NBA players to reach that threshold. He also averaged 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. After that performance, it's widely expected he'll get a maximum deal, perhaps even proactively from the Bulls before another team even submits an offer sheet.

The Bulls could offer Butler a five-year deal worth around $96 million if the projected salary cap of $66.5 million for 2015-'16 holds true.

Other teams could offer Butler a four-year deal worth around $71 million if the projected salary cap of $66.5 million for 2015-'16 holds true.

Butler could also choose to play on a qualifying offer or short-term deal and become a free agent sooner, giving him the chance to get a bigger deal after the salary cap takes a monumental jump when the new television deal kicks in for the 2016-'17 season.

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