With the Philadelphia 76ers moving on to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after defeating the Brooklyn Nets, 4-1, in their best-of-seven series, a new report suggests that former All-Star forward/guard Jimmy Butler may be willing to re-sign with the team once he becomes a free agent this summer.
On Friday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania took a look at the so-called “Core Four” teams in the Eastern Conference — the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and the Sixers — and how these teams are stacking up as they prepare for the second round of this year’s playoffs. As cited by Bleacher Report, Charania mentioned that Butler’s representatives met with Sixers general manager Elton Brand, as both sides discussed the 29-year-old wingman’s “potential long-term future” with the team.
Although Bleacher Report noted that Butler did not name the 76ers as a preferred landing spot when he asked the Minnesota Timberwolves to trade him early in the 2018-19 regular season, the outlet cited Charania, who wrote that Butler wants to “[focus] on winning” in Philadelphia for the meantime. It was also noted that the four-time All-Defensive Team member is still interested in moving to Los Angeles via free agency, though Bleacher Report did not specify whether Butler is considering the Lakers or the Clippers.
“We know how important every single day is and we know what we’re expected to do,” Butler commented in his interview with Charania.
“We’re expected to win and perform at a very high clip — just like these other teams out East. We know why we were brought together. But we can’t skip over no games and skip over no days.”
Our NBA insider @shamscharania broke down what's on the line for the future of the 'Core 4' teams in the East semifinals and how it may impact their future.— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) April 26, 2019
When he spoke to Jimmy Butler, a key free-agent this summer, Jimmy's focus was clear. pic.twitter.com/qytL5L3qxy
Separately, ClutchPoints also cited Charania’s report for The Athletic, pointing out that Jimmy Butler joined the Philadelphia 76ers as someone known for his intensity and occasional “combative” nature, and referencing the shouting match he allegedly had with head coach Brett Brown. This topic was touched on by Butler, who told Charania that he “might have a lot to say to people” if his team’s not winning.
While Butler could potentially keep contributing to the Sixers’ winning cause on both ends of the floor if they re-sign him in the 2019 offseason, ClutchPoints wrote that the team might also have to choose whether or not to retain their second midseason acquisition at forward, Tobias Harris. Like Butler, Harris will become eligible for free agency this summer and could stand to earn as much as $188 million over five years if he signs a maximum contract with Philadelphia.