In November 2018, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Jimmy Butler with the belief that adding him to the core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would give them a strong chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title. Unfortunately, after a season of playing together where they were eliminated in the second round of the 2019 Eastern Conference Playoffs, Butler decided to end his stint with the Sixers. In the first week of the 2019 NBA free agency, Butler agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that sent him to the Miami Heat.
Since he made his decision last summer, several rumors have surfaced regarding the real reason why he left the Sixers. In a recent appearance on The JJ Redick Podcast, Butler had an interesting discussion regarding his first and final season in the City of Brotherly Love with former Sixers shooting guard JJ Redick. Though he already denied that there was bad blood between him, Embiid, and Simmons, Butler admitted that his stint with the Sixers was “difficult” mainly because he didn’t know who was the leader of the team.
After seeing that they couldn’t accomplish anything in Philadelphia, Butler realized that it would no longer be beneficial for him to play another season with them.
“So I come to you, I said: ‘JJ, why would I go back in there again? We didn’t do nothing. Nothing got accomplished.’ So, now we fast forward to how many other weeks is over there and we’re in Portland, and that happens during a film session because, once again, wasn’t nobody saying nothing,” Butler said, as quoted by Bleacher Report.
“So who was the individual who finally decided to finally say something?”
The Sixers managed to get something in return for Butler when they acquired Josh Richardson from the Heat. Also, the Sixers boosted their frontcourt by signing Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency. Unfortunately, as of now, the Sixers are nothing but huge disappointments. Despite having a loaded starting lineup, the Sixers still failed to live up to expectations from the team that was supposed to be a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, as of now, Butler continues to prove that he made the right decision to leave the Sixers for the Heat. Though their roster isn’t as star-studded as the Sixers, Butler and the Heat are establishing an impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season. Compared to the Sixers, most people see the Heat as having a better chance of making a huge noise in the 2020 NBA Playoffs and representing the Eastern Conference in the 2020 NBA Finals.