The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping to take the now empty throne of the Eastern Conference. But to do so, they will have to make do in spite of their losses.
Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick left the franchise this past summer, eliminating two primary offensive options for the team.
In regards to the former, the Sixers could have actually kept Butler had they offered him the max contract he was seeking.
Fast-forward through the pair of blockbuster deals that brought in Jimmy Butler last November, Tobias Harris in February, past the heart-breaking playoff loss in May to the eventual champs, past the 2019 NBA draft in June and whirlwind free agency and it feels like a crash course in just how unpredictable the NBA can be.
Well it appears that all of that turnover did not deter the team’s brass from embracing even more change in order to get what they believe is the best balance of players (and personalities) per dollar onto the final roster. According to a person with knowledge of the way the front office thinks in Philadelphia, the Sixers were not interested in bringing Jimmy Butler back and did not offer him the five-year offer he was seeking from them. According to the source, Butler would have taken a five-year max offer to stay, as securing the final year of a long term deal was one of his priorities.
In the same article, it states that the core was willing to run it back for at least one more year.
According to the same source the core players mostly liked and got along with Butler. This team insider did not suspect that retaining Butler would have impacted the ensuing contracts signed by Tobias Harris or Ben Simmons. “I think [the core players] were down to run it back. [The team] wanted to go another way.”
Evidently, Philly must have felt that Butler was not worthy of a max deal. Instead, they signed 33-year-old Al Horford to pair alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
They made that choice, and we will see how it works out for them.