Although the finals are over, the NBA continues to supply the world with stories. The focus will now shift to free agency. One of the big names in free agency will be Jimmy Butler. According to Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports!, he plans to decline his player option and enter the open market.
Yahoo Sources: Sixers forward Jimmy Butler intends to decline his $19.8 million player option to test free agency. https://t.co/on89pYddQx
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 14, 2019
Philadelphia 76ers’ Jimmy Butler Plans to Decline Player Option
How Did We Get Here?
After a ton of drama and rumors during Butler’s stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves, changes had to be made. Butler ended up going to the 76ers via trade. The team and the city of Philadelphia appeared to fit his personality.
The 76ers finished as the third seed in the Eastern Conference but, were eliminated in the second by the eventual champions, the Toronto Raptors. During their playoff run, Butler showed his true value on the floor. He averaged 19.4 points per game. When the offense became stagnant, Butler would deliver timely baskets. His encouragement towards Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons was also very valuable during the pressurized playoff moments.
The Off-Season Approaches
After the season, Butler stated that he intends to sign a max contract. This statement let the 76ers know that he may test out the open market this summer. Butler was always a top priority for the franchise, especially after his consistent display in the postseason. Many teams would like to add a skilled, two-way wing player like Butler to their roster. Sources say the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in adding Butler to provide some versatility to the team.
Given the progress the 76ers have made, it would be hard to picture them not bringing back Butler for another run. If the Raptors end up losing Kawhi Leonard, the window to a championship could get even wider for them next season. It will be interesting to see how this summer plays out for Butler and the 76ers. His passion, grit, and toughness fit with the 76ers culture perfectly. However, we all know that nothing is certain in the NBA.