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Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Jimmy Butler Rejects 'Hometown Discount' Offer From Bulls

Jimmy Butler rejected the Chicago Bulls' final contract extension offer on Friday and will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015.

“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.”

The Bulls would have the option to match any offer sheet Butler were to sign on the open market, but it could threaten their payroll structure or allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017. 

“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.”

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Klay Thompson, Warriors Agree Upon $70M Max Extension

Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have agreed upon a four-year, $70 millon maximum contract extension.

The deal contains no options.

The Sacramento Kings reportedly made a late push to trade for Thompson by offering anyone other than DeMarcus Cousins or Rudy Gay.

Via Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

Brandon Knight, Bucks End Extension Talks

Brandon Knight and the Milwaukee Bucks have broken off extension talks.

Knight plans to enter restricted free agency in 2015.

Knight was acquired by the Bucks from the Detroit Pistons in 2013.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Klay Thompson, Warriors Hold No New Extension Talks

Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors have not held new extension talks ahead of Friday's deadline.

Thompson would become a restricted free agent in 2015 without a new deal.

The Warriors had an opportunity to acquire Kevin Love this offseason, but decided parting ways with Thompson wasn't worth it.

Steve Kerr said he remains "quietly confident" that a deal could get done.

Via Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs End Extension Talks

Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs have broken off talks on a contract extension.

Agent Brian Elfus and Leonard have held firm on their desire for a maximum contract extension, something Spurs management won’t consider until July.

“We feel Kawhi is deserving of a max contract, and we are disappointed that something couldn’t get done,” Elfus told Yahoo Sports. “There’s no debating Kawhi’s value. The market has been set. He’s done everything the Spurs have asked of him, exceeded all of their expectations. Coach [Gregg] Popovich has gone out of his way to call Kawhi the future face of the franchise. We have great respect for the Spurs organization, but here, we simply agree to disagree.

“There will be no shortage of teams interested in Kawhi’s services next year. There will be a lot of contract scenarios available to us, and we will explore them all.”

San Antonio could sign Leonard to a five-year, $90 million-plus extension now or next summer, if the Spurs are willing to make him their designated player. But Leonard could also sign an offer sheet with a rival team that includes a player option in the third season that would allow him to potentially leave the Spurs in 2017. 

Sources say the Spurs want to keep Leonard's contract off the books until they can explore free agent targets, especially since Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili could retire.

Leonard would have a significantly smaller cap hold than what would be the first season of a max or near-max extension.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Exec: Meeting With Rich Paul On LeBron Was For Them To Publicize Their Business

LeBron James empowered his agent Rich Paul to meet with several teams to Klutch’s offices in Cleveland for free-agent presentations without him present.

Those meetings were leaked to the public and the perception was that they were conducted to garner attention to their agency.

The Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks met with Paul, in addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Just used as props to get attention and publicize their business,” one league executive told Yahoo Sports. “Maybe that’s smart to some people, but you have to deal with the same people again and again in this league. Those things can come back on you eventually.”

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Ricky Rubio, Wolves Approximately $6M Apart On Extension Talks

Ricky Rubio is prepared to accept a four-year, $58 million deal from the Minnesota Timberwolves if he receives the offer.

The Wolves have offered a four-year, $52 million deal and could possibly go as high as $54 million.

Rubio would become a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason if an extension cannot be reached.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski on early Friday evening, Rubio and the Wolves were making progress on a deal. "There's optimism, but no deal," wrote Wojnarowski.

Via Darren Wolfson/ESPN

Alec Burks, Jazz Agree Upon Four-Year, $42M Extension

The Utah Jazz and Alec Burks have reached agreement on a four-year, $42 million contract extension.

Burks' deal could climb to $45 million with reachable incentive clauses.

Burks, 23, is the third young Jazz player, along with Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, to reach a four-year extension with the franchise.

Burks has developed into one of the NBA's better young shooting guards.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Mavericks Open To Late Season Signing Of Ray Allen Or Rashard Lewis

The Dallas Mavericks would be open to signing Ray Allen or Rashard Lewis later in the regular season should either player be interested in a deal.

Both Allen and Lewis have been working out, and Lewis has worked out in Dallas sometimes.

"We haven’t talked to him, but I think he’s doing it the right way,” Mark Cuban said of Allen. “He’s waiting to see who’s doing well. If it comes down to it, we’d always consider it. We’re always open to improving the team. But you don’t want to mess up a good thing, either. That’s when Caron got hurt and Roddy got hurt. But Peja is a good example.

“Rashard Lewis is working out here. We’ve stayed in touch with him and worked with him.”

Via Eddie Sefko/Dallas Morning News

Hawks Decline John Jenkins' Fourth-Year Rookie Option

The Atlanta Hawks have decided to allow John Jenkins to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, declining his fourth-year rookie option, league sources told RealGM.

Jenkins, Atlanta’s 23rd overall draft pick in 2012, has averaged 5.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in two seasons with the franchise. After contributing as a  reserve in his rookie year, Jenkins missed most of last season with a severe back injury that required surgery.

Jenkins played three seasons at Vanderbilt before entering the NBA in 2012.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Jermaine O'Neal Hasn't Ruled Out Continuing Career

Jermaine O'Neal is not ruling out returning to the NBA for his 19th season after just turning 36.

Gilbert: Signing Kyrie Irving To Extension Was Pivotal To Getting LeBron

Dan Gilbert believes getting Kyrie Irving signed to a max contract extension with the Cavaliers was critical in landing LeBron James in free agency and then trading for Kevin Love.

Cavs, Anderson Varejao Close To Three-Year, $30M Extension

Anderson Varejao is the longest tenured member of the Cavaliers, joining the club in 2004.

DeAndre Jordan Not Focused On Contract, Considered 'Key To Championship'

Clippers' players and coaches believe the X-factor toward an NBA championship is DeAndre Jordan.

Celtics Exercise 15-16 Options On Olynyk, Sullinger, Zeller

The Celtics have exercised its third-year option on Kelly Olynyk, and its fourth-year options on Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller.

Robert Covington, 76ers Nearly Finalize Agreement; Forward Likely Signing In D-League

Robert Covington and the 76ers progressed toward finalizing a multi-year contract this week, but a deal has deteriorated as the two sides failed to agree upon contract length, league sources told RealGM.

Gasol: Picking Bulls Over Spurs, Thunder Was Most Difficult Decision Of My Life

Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Bulls' opener against the Knicks.

Thunder Unlikely To Sign Reggie Jackson To Extension

The Thunder have typically not kept players on rookie contracts that didn't sign extensions.

Knicks, Nets, Mavs, Hornets Could Conceivably Be Interested In Kobe

Kobe Bryant's contract expires after the 15-16 NBA season.

Mavs Release Gal Mekel To Create Roster Spot For Barea

The Mavericks have released Gal Mekel.

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Unlikely To Agree Upon Extension

Jimmy Butler would become a restricted free agent in 2015.

Enes Kanter, Jazz Break Off Extension Talks

Enes Kanter will become a restricted free agent in the 2015 offseason.

Kemba Walker Agrees To Four-Year, $48M Extension With Hornets

Kemba Walker has agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Hornets, according to sources.

Dwight Left Lakers 'For Myself', Not For Fear Of Kobe

Ahead ofthe Rockets' opening night game at the Lakers, Dwight Howard said his free agency decision in 2013 had nothing to do with Kobe Bryant.

Bucks Guarantee Contract Of Kendall Marshall For 14-15 Season

The Bucks could have waited until January to make a decision on Kendall Marshall.

Knicks Exercise Third-Year Option On Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim Hardaway Jr. averaged 10.2 points over 23.2 minutes in 81 games (one start) last season for the Knicks and was named to the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team.

Bucks Waive Micheal Eric

Michael Eric appeared in four games this preseason for the Bucks and averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game.

Kings Receive Trade Interest In Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson is signed through the 16-17 season.

Blazers Exercise 15-16 Options On Leonard, McCollum

The Blazers have exercised team options on the contracts of center Meyers Leonard and guard CJ McCollum.

Terrence Williams Works Out For Kings Again For Potential Signing

Terrence Williams worked out for the Kings on Monday for the second time since July, with an opportunity to sign, league sources told RealGM.
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