Before Jimmy Butler even got a chance to buy his winter coat, his future in Philly is already being challenged. After a rather dramatic exit from Minnesota, Butler made headlines again after “aggressively challenging” head coach Brett Brown about his role and fit on the team, only to later let his frustrations boil over in a recent team film session. A witness described Butler’s outburst as “disrespectful.”
This confrontation only adds fuel to the fire, as his integration into the team has already been sluggish.
Some teams are starting to sense some tension in Philadelphia, and have mustered the courage to sniff the water on a possible Jimmy Butler deal.
“That microscope doesn’t just come from the media, but also opposing front office,” writes Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman. “An opposing team has already called to ask if this latest blowup means Butler might be on the market, according to league sources. This, as rumors swirl around NBA circles that the Sixers, spooked that Butler will bolt when he becomes a free agent this summer, are contemplating dealing Butler before the trade deadline. The team has never considered dealing Butler, according to league sources. But it’s worth noting that the vultures around the NBA, often willing and eager to sow discord, have emerged. “
No trade is imminent, and it shouldn’t be. The Sixers are far from panic mode… the team is still very good and none of these issues are unfixable.
Still, if there’s a sense that either Jimmy Butler is uncomfortable with the team or that he becomes too much of a problem, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to consider sending him packing.