- The 76ers are massive favorites to re-sign Jimmy Butler this summer
- From a financial standpoint it makes sense for Butler to stay in Philly, but if he values winning he should look elsewhere
- Where is Butler likely to land in free agency?
Jimmy Butler’s performance in this year’s NBA Playoffs is going to earn him a monster raise, but the question is will the 76ers be the team that’s signing the check?
JIMMY BUTLER ARE YOU SERIOUS pic.twitter.com/xp6US5gWOq
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) May 5, 2019
Butler has emerged as Philly’s leader in the postseason and the Sixers are now heavily favored to re-sign him when he opts out of his current contract this summer.
Jimmy Butler 2019 Free Agency Odds
|Team||Free Agency Odds|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+200|
|New York Knicks||+500|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+700|
*Odds taken on 05/08/19
Three months ago, you could have gotten plus money on Butler remaining in Philadelphia, but now the sportsbooks have completely reversed course which makes sense for Butler from a financial standpoint.
Philadelphia Can Offer the Most Money
Butler will be looking for a max deal once he hits free agency and only Philadelphia can offer him a five-year, $190 million contract. If Butler bolts, the most he could possibly sign for would be $141 million over four years. I’ve never met someone who was willing to throw away $50 million, and Butler doesn’t strike me as someone who would do that either.
give jimmy butler every max contract available pic.twitter.com/pYdyIgXW8m
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) May 8, 2019
Philly is a good fit for him because he doesn’t need to be the number one scorer on a nightly basis. He’s more of a secondary option than a lead dog, as evidenced by his stints in Chicago and Minnesota. Having guys like Joel Embiid around him to shoulder the offensive burden is incredibly helpful.
Allen Iverson is a fan of this dunk from Jimmy Butler. ?pic.twitter.com/DWEuvaULlC
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 3, 2019
The downside of staying in Philadelphia is that the 76ers are a flawed team who won’t threaten for the title as long as they keep their current roster in place.
Why Butler Might Bounce
Ben Simmons is afraid to shoot and can’t succeed in the half court game, which is what playoff basketball is all about in the late moments. Embiid is a top-10 talent, but is always battling some kind of injury or illness, and is out of shape.
The @sixers should be ashamed of themselves. Let’s take @JimmyButler at his word and acknowledge @JoelEmbiid is totally sick. What about @tobias31? What about @BenSimmons25 a loss is entirely different than an ass-kicking! I mean, WTH is up with this?#Damn!
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 8, 2019
The Sixers look great when they’re on the break, but when they need a bucket late in games the offense too often stalls. Throw Butler’s rocky relationship with head coach Brett Brown into the mix, and all of a sudden Philly doesn’t seem like such an ideal location if he wants to chase a title.
What Will Jimmy Buckets Do Next?
If it were me, there’s no way I’d be able to turn down the extra money the Sixers can offer, but maybe Butler is wired differently. Playing with LeBron in LA sounds good in theory, until Butler realizes that he’ll only play off the ball and shoot spot up jumpers.
He’ll likely stay in Philly, and those odds will dramatically increase if the Sixers fire Brown once they are eliminated.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers (-250)