Jimmy Butler is a big part of the Bulls' future. (USATSI)
Jimmy Butler is a big part of the Bulls' future. (USATSI)

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Bulls offered guard Jimmy Butler a four-year, $40 million extension earlier this year which Butler decided to decline. 

According to a source, Butler turned down a four-year, $40 million-plus offer from the Bulls. After watching Klay Thompson get the max four-year, $70 million contract from the Warriors, Butler was willing to test the market as a restricted free agent and force the Bulls to make the tough decision.

via Don't tell him but Jimmy Butler's star is shining | Chicago Sun-Times.

Butler looks like a genius to turn down the offer now. He's played like a top-five shooting guard this season, adding consistent scoring to his defensive chops. He's helped a banged-up Bulls team stay above water with a long road trip. His growth has been phenomenal this season and he looks like a legit star next to Derrick Rose if both can stay healthy. 

The Bulls will likely try and slow down any offers for Butler by making it known that they will match any offer. They are notoriously brutal in negotiations, and often succeed in getting players to take paycuts despite thost tactics. Butler looks to have made the right move by turning down the extension, but getting significantly more money will be a challenge.