From the No. 30 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Jimmy Butler has turned himself into one of the best two-way players in the league. As of now, Butler is aiming to help the Philadelphia 76ers fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2018-19 NBA season.
At 29, Jimmy Butler is still in his prime and despite suffering numerous injuries, he hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. In 20 games he played with the Sixers, Butler is averaging 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.0 steals on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 39.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. However, Butler already has an idea on his mind when he plans to permanently end his NBA career. When asked how he thinks he’ll be able to perform at 35, Butler hinted at the possibility that he’s already a retired NBA player when he reaches that age.
“I don’t plan on playing this game when I’m 35 years old,” Butler said, via Keith Pompey of Philly.com. “So I’m not even worried about that. I’ll be done with this game before I’m 35.”
That could just be the perfect time for a superstar who has a history of health issues like Jimmy Butler to retire. As Pompey noted, most players in the NBA have shown a huge decline in their performance in their mid-30s. Butler’s potential retirement date is also perfect for the Sixers’ plans.
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When the 2018-19 NBA season is over, the Sixers are expected to offer Jimmy Butler a five-year, $190 million max contract once he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Butler will be 34-years-old by the time that contract expires, and the Sixers will be having a legitimate NBA superstar to play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid for the next five seasons. Since the blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, there are speculations that Butler and the Sixers have a mutual interest regarding a contract extension next summer.
Unlike in his previous stints with the Chicago Bulls and the Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler doesn’t seem to have any problem with his young teammates, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, in Philadephia. Since joining the Sixers, Butler has immediately assumed a leadership role and built a good relationship with Simmons and Embiid.
As of now, Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown is still trying to figure out how to maximize the effectiveness of Simmons and Embiid when they are sharing the court with Butler. If they succeed to build good chemistry and address the issues on their roster, the Sixers will have a real chance of becoming the new ruler of the Eastern Conference this season.