When the Philadelphia 76ers struck a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, they knew there was risk involved. After all, Butler could (and still can) become a free agent during the 2019 NBA offseason. But so far, things have gone well during his tenure with the Sixers and that’s a big deal for the franchise.
While Butler being happy and the team winning games is an ideal situation for all parties, the latest rumblings on the guard’s future make this trade look even better. As Marc Stein of The New York Times revealed in his latest newsletter, Butler is among multiple stars expected to re-sign with their current teams.
“Look for several of next summer’s major free agents — Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler and Golden State’s Klay Thompson — to stay put.” Stein writes.
“Allow me to also pass on one of the wildest predictions I’ve heard lately, from one wise insider, who thinks even DeMarcus Cousins will consider re-upping with the Warriors for one more season despite the (comparatively) minuscule raise they can offer on Cousins’ current $5.3 million salary.”
If the chatter of Butler likely re-signing with the Sixers wasn’t exciting enough, Stein also predicted that Kawhi Leonard will leave the Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers. For Philadelphia’s front office, the idea of another star leaving the Eastern Conference has to be appealing as it only improves their overall outlook.
Sixers’ Record & Outlook With Jimmy Butler
While the Sixers are playing on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Butler has been a member of the team for 23 games prior to that matchup. He missed two games due to injury and didn’t suit up for the first one as he had just been acquired. But in the other 20 games, the team has posted a 14-6 record.
Butler has averaged 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 46.6 percent from the field in the process. Arguably the most impressive aspect of what he’s done since joining the Sixers is his ability to take on whatever role asked of him on any given night. The star guard has taken things in stride with his new teammates and it’s resulted in success to this point.
Jimmy Butler’s Adapting to Any Role
If Brett Brown’s squad needs Butler to step up as a go-to scorer, he’s proven more than capable of doing so. But on the opposite side, if Joel Embiid is rolling and Butler takes a backseat or is needed to lock down an opposing star, he’s handled the role with no complaints.
Along with all that, we’ve seen Butler step in and immediately become Philly’s closer in late-game situations, which is something they desperately needed prior to the trade. One of the best moments of the All-Star’s tenure with the Sixers to this point came in the form of a last-second 3-pointer against the Brooklyn Nets, per House of Highlights.