Jimmy Butler's reward for his breakout season, for exceeding all expectations en route to becoming an All-Star and go-to scorer, is going to cost him a lot of money in the long term.

Yes, that's the reality of restricted free agency for the Bulls guard. Chicago handed him a maximum qualifying offer Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times, which gives him three options: accept the offer (five years and about $90 million), land a three- or four-year deal from another team (which the Bulls likely would match) or sign the one-year qualifying offer of $4.4 million.

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That last option looks tempting when you dig deeper. Butler probably can't escape the Bulls this offseason because they can match any contract he's offered. But if he bets on himself and takes a $12 million hit this year, he could hit unrestricted free agency next offseason — when the salary cap and maximum available contract take massive leaps.

He'd more than make up for this year's lost funding if he landed a 2016 max, so of course the cap wonks and Lakers fans want him to take the risk. We don't have millions of dollars on the line.

This is the purpose of restricted free agency and of the maximum qualifying offer, a provision which had never been used before because it gives the player the most possible money without negotiation. The Bulls limited Butler's options severely by taking advantage of the rule, which does not allow Butler to sign an offer sheet with another team for fewer than three guaranteed years.

Butler wanted to sign a one-year contract — with the Lakers, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. That's off the table now unless he takes the way-below-market-value qualifying offer. And Butler is 25 and coming off a season in which he averaged career highs of 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. He clearly staked his claim as max-worth player immediately after the Bulls declined to offer him a four-year max extension last offseason. Momentum is on his side.

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But Butler had a front-row seat for the worst-case scenario. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose signed a five-year maximum contract extension after his third season, then had his career derailed over the course of the next three. Rose's cushion came in the form of all that money, and he still has $41 million due to him over the next two seasons as he continues to find his form.

Butler spent most of March sidelined by an elbow injury, a scary proposition for a shooter. He also will have to deal with a new coach in Fred Hoiberg, and his scoring opportunities could be reduced if Rose is healthy and Nikola Mirotic breaks out. And there's always the plausible reality that Butler's 2014-15 offensive explosion — he improved his shooting from 39.7 percent from the field and 28.3 percent on 3-pointers in 2013-14 to 46.2 percent and 37.8 percent last year — was a fluke.

He won't look at it that way. NBA players are egotistical, a motivating factor that allows them to perform at the highest level. But they also value money, and that — along with his reported desire for a new home — is where Butler's decision lies. He hasn't even made $6 million in his four-year NBA career, so his first big contract ca

rries a lot of weight. True, even if he falls off dramatically or is injured this season, Butler will elicit interest next year. But $90 million is a lot to gamble.