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Lakers preparing max offer sheet for Jimmy Butler

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Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers' front office have noticed the Bulls' guard's breakout year.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers are "preparing [a] maximum-salary offer" for Bulls' shooting guard and pending restricted free agent Jimmy Butleraccording to Shams Charania of Real GM. Butler was recently named the NBA's Most Improved Player for his breakout 2014-15 season, in which he averaged 20 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.8 steals in 38.7 minutes per game.

If acquired, Butler would not only instantly become Kobe Bryant's heir apparent on the wing, but would almost surely improve a Lakers' defense which ranked second-to-last in the league with a defensive rating of 108. At age 25, Butler is also young enough to both help the Lakers next season as well as continue to improve as they rebuild towards contention.

However, the Bulls have the ability to make Butler a restricted free agent by giving him the qualifying offer, meaning they would hold the right to match any offer made to him and retain him at that price. With a rising cap over the next few years, the Bulls would almost assuredly do so.

If not, per Charania's report, the Lakers are just one of multiple teams preparing such an offer for Butler. The versatile shooting guard would certainly be a nice get for the team, but an unlikely one at best.