The 76ers organization is distressed that Jimmy Butler may leave in the summer. The news came out when sources reported members both in and around the 76ers organization were worried that the 4-time All-Star may flee in the off-season.
According to John Gonzalez of The Ringer:
The question of what to do at the trade deadline is tethered to another pressing issue: Butler’s upcoming free agency. People in and around the organization have expressed concern to me that Butler could bolt this offseason
With an option for Butler to decline his 2019-2020 option with the team, he may be enticed to make more money elsewhere. By putting himself on the market, he opens himself to more opportunities. However, if he wants to win, it makes no sense to leave the 76ers.
The 76ers have two other All-Stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The trio is easily considered one of the best teams in the East and has a chance to emerge as Eastern Conference champions. Does Butler not want to win?
Truth is, Butler doesn’t exactly get along with everyone. Reports say he was a “locker-room issue” in both Chicago and Minnesota – it may be coming to the Sixers. In a film session, Butler clashed with Sixers head coach Brett Brown over his utilization on offense. Witnesses described Butler as being “disrespectful” to Brown.
Nevertheless, the Sixers have one of the best records in the East and are one of the best teams in the NBA with a 34-19 record. Butler should finish the season with a bang and see how far this Sixer team can go. The two-time All-NBA honoree makes a whopping $35.3 million a year and is averaging just 18.9 points per game.
Perhaps the Sixers wingman wants to have more control of the ball elsewhere. Sources say that Butler has his eyes set on the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets – all which are teams where Butler can control the ball.
The Sixers shouldn’t panic about the situation, either. They should put all their focus on keeping Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who are the heart of their team. With Butler, it seems like he comes and goes from teams without leaving much of an effect. However, losing Embiid or Simmons could be detrimental.