Jimmy Butler is focusing on basketball rather than becoming a restricted free agent next summer, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. Friedell adds that Butler may seek more than the $9.7MM annual salary that former Bulls teammate Luol Deng received this offseason from the Heat. When the topic of the new TV deal was broached, Butler deflected the question, saying, “I don’t know nothing about a TV deal. I just know that it’s my contract year, and I got to play well and I want to help us win. That’s all that I know.” Butler will be one of the first players to sign a deal in the new cap era, Friedell notes.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The contracts of D.J. Mbenga (Knicks), Jason Kapono (Warriors), and Yuki Togashi (Mavs) are all non-guaranteed, minimum salary camp deals, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). Kapono’s deal is for one season, Pincus notes on Golden State’s salary page.
- One of Europe’s top prospects, Joonas Caven, a 6’11” big man from Finland, will enter the NBA D-League Draft this year, according to his agent K.C. Callero, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress reports (Twitter link). Caven is targeting the 2015 NBA Draft and the D-League will act as a showcase for his talents, notes Carchia.
- The Pelicans waived Vernon Macklin so that he could pursue an opportunity to play in Europe, John Reid of The Times-Picayune reports (Twitter link).
- One of the newest members of the Mavs, Richard Jefferson, accepted a veteran’s minimum deal this offseason, but that doesn’t mean he is willing to settle for a minimal role, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. MacMahon adds that Jefferson understands that he won’t be a starter but he is determined to find his niche on the team. “I like to believe myself to be an everyday contributor,” said Jefferson. “Whether it works out that way remains to be seen, but my job is just to stay ready.“
Chris Crouse contributed to this post.