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Marquette In The NBA: Jimmy Butler & Jae Crowder Got PAID

The first day of NBA free agency was quite successful for two former MU stars.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

July 1st every year is the first day of the NBA league calendar, and as such, it's the first day that free agents can agree to new contracts with their new teams.  While there are still multiple opportunities for men you once saw in a Golden Eagle uniform to pick up some new space change, there have already been two major signings.

First of all, Jimmy Butler has re-upped with the Chicago Bulls.  The Tomball, TX, native has agreed to a new contract that will max out at $95 million over the next five seasons.  Now, that's slightly misleading, as the fifth year of the deal is actually a player option that Butler will have to lock into when the time comes.  Still, it's a max contract, and that's pretty great for him.  Butler had been seeking a short term deal to take advantage of the increases in the salary cap that are coming over the next few years.  However, the Bulls extended him a Maximum Qualifying Offer, which meant his options were either this or a 3 year deal for approximately $51 million.  Hard to pass up an extra $2 million a year, y'know?

We all knew that Jimmy Butler was going to get a Brinks truck backed up to his front door, though.  The surprising news of the day came very late at night when Jae Crowder agreed to a five year, $35 million contract to return to the Boston Celtics.  Crowder was traded to Boston by the Dallas Mavericks early in the season, and he turned into a focal point of the C's development under head coach Brad Stevens.  In his time in Boston, he averaged more minutes per game than he ever did in Dallas, shot the ball more than ever, grabbed more rebounds than ever, dished more assists, and snagged more steals than ever.  This was just in a 57 game sample size that included 17 starts for Boston, of course, but it's clear that Stevens and Celtics general manager Danny Ainge value the overall package that Jae Crowder provides on the court.  Marquette fans are very familiar with that package, of course, as Crowder won the Big East Most Valuable Player award back in 2012.

There are still some free agency moves involving former Golden Eagles that still have to be settled.  Multiple teams, including the Raptors, Mavericks, and Kings are hard after former Portland shooting guard Wesley Matthews, and Dwyane Wade has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat.