True, Jimmy Butler was once thought to be a Chicago lifer during his first few years in the NBA. Back then, nobody could really see him wearing another jersey.
Two teams later, and with an impending free-agency, it's now anyone's guess where he might end up next. Though, from the words of Butler himself, we shouldn't rule out Philly as a permanent home for the 4x All-Star.
“We’ll worry about that when the time comes,” Butler said to the Philadelphia Inquirer about his upcoming decision this summer. “But I really do like it here, I can tell you that. I don’t know what the future holds. This is a helluva locker room, helluva staff. I can see this being home.”
This has got to be refreshingly great news for the Sixers.
After starting off the season rather sluggish, the team took a shot in trading for Butler. It cost them Dario Saric and Robert Covington, two important role-players, all for the risk that Jimmy would leave this summer when he'll be free to choose among a list of pursuers.
The pain of him departing would be worse for Philly, because he's been a key part of their recent stretch of good basketball (they've won 7 of their last 10). He's playing defense, doing his role on offense, and has become the closer they've needed for the past few seasons now.
There's not a body on this earth that can say definitively where Butler's heart lies a little over a month into this season. Heck, he may not even know himself. But as for right now, it's pretty fair to say that the 76ers have just a good a chance as any team to sign him come this July.
If anything, they should be considered the front-runners.