Before taking the deep dive into Jimmy Butler’s free agency, it’s worth noting that the Philadelphia 76ers are still widely viewed as a top candidate to re-sign the All-Star guard. With that said, there have been plenty of rumblings pointing to Butler potentially playing elsewhere in the 2019-20 season and beyond.
Teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers have all jumped out as potential options. Realistically, they all make sense for various reasons and Butler has been linked to each of them on various occasions. But while we have an idea who the top teams in the mix are, it’s also worth evaluating one or two darkhorse candidates.
And one potential option flying under the radar could be the Milwaukee Bucks. That’s where we’ll start, before diving deeper into Butler’s other dark horse free agency options.
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Jimmy Butler Free Agency Fits: Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks find themselves in an interesting spot, as both Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon could leave in free agency. They also have Nikola Mirotic and Brook Lopez coming off the books to free up additional cap space, but one name worth mentioning is George Hill.
As Spotrac shows, only $1 million of Hill’s contract is guaranteed for 2019, but the team would need to waive him before July 2 to avoid it becoming guaranteed. If Hill, who’s owed $18 million next year was waived, the Bucks would be loaded with cap space to work with heading into free agency.
This could lead to the potential for the front office to add a top-tier free agent and consider a player like Butler as an option next to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe. Whether or not they’d actually make a run at Butler is unknown, but it would be an addition worth talking about.
Indiana Pacers Have Money to Target Jimmy Butler in Free Agency
Even after the Indiana Pacers swung a trade with the Phoenix Suns for T.J. Warren, the team still has quite a bit of cap space to work with this offseason. This comes due to the fact that multiple big contracts are set to come off the books, including the likes of Thaddeus Young, Cory Joseph, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic and Darren Collison.
The Pacers could obviously choose to re-sign a few of these players, but after swinging a deal for Warren, they could instead turn their attention to a top free agent. While it’s unknown how early in the year Victor Oladipo will return after the injury he suffered last season, a lineup featuring him, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Warren and Butler would be fun to watch.
Currently, the Pacers are listed with just north of $32.519 million in cap space (per Spotrac), although they obviously have quite a few roster spots to fill heading into free agency. Whether or not they make a run at a top free agent will be a primary talking point over the coming weeks, but if so, it could really shake up the offseason outlook.
Other dark horse free agency options for Jimmy Butler: Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns