Sixers Prepared to Give Jimmy Butler Max Extension if Available: Report

Jimmy Butler

Getty Jimmy Butler

There might be more than smoke to the Philadelphia 76ersJimmy Butler reunion this offseason. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported that the Sixers would give him a max extension if both their plans fail and he’s available to acquire.

“The Sixers view (Butler) as a fallback option if they are unable to sign Paul George in free agency,” Pompey wrote. “And, according to sources, the Sixers are prepared to give Butler a maximum-salary extension if things align and he forces a trade out of Miami.”

Butler played for the Sixers for the majority of the 2018-19 season. With Butler, the Sixers failed to get out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, as the Toronto Raptors eliminated them in seven games.

However, the Sixers came the closest to beating who would turn out to be the reigning champions. Butler did not stay with the Sixers for long, as he joined the Heat the following offseason. Since then, Butler and the Heat have made two NBA Finals appearances. The Sixers have since failed to get past the second round.

Acquiring Butler if their other plans go south comes with a risk, as he is 35 years old. However, his resume speaks for itself. His experience beating the Boston Celtics twice in his time with the Heat likely helps his appeal to the Sixers.

Jimmy Butler Will Likely Remain With Heat: Report

Though the Sixers clearly have Butler on their minds, it may not matter. Yahoo Sports! Jake Fischer reported that, despite the Sixers’ interest, Butler will likely stay in South Beach.

“The Sixers, of course, have been in the Butler business before. He and Embiid maintained a close relationship, and Butler may have been the All-Star whom Morey most often attempted to acquire in Houston, sources said. At this juncture, however, league executives are of the mind Butler will most likely remain with the Heat,” Fischer wrote in a May 23 story.

Another factor to keep in mind is that all indications are that the Sixers will try to sign Paul George first. It’s easy to see why. They can sign George outright in free agency, but to get Butler on the team, they would likely have to trade for him. If their George pursuit succeeds, Butler is likely out of the question.

The Heat would have some reservations about that, as the Sixers are a conference rival with similar aspirations.

Jimmy Butler Calls Miami ‘Home’

Despite the rumors, Butler told GQ magazine’s Rohan Nadkami that Miami has felt like home to him.

“I feel at home, man. I really care about the city, I really care about the people in this city. Miami has embraced me. They’ve wanted me to bring them something they haven’t done since LeBron, (Dwyane Wade), and (Chris Bosh). And I want to do that. So as soon as I get this knee back right, I’m right back on they ass and everybody know it.”

Butler injured his knee when the Heat played the Sixers in the play-in. While the Heat managed to make the playoffs, Butler’s unavailability played a role in the Heat losing to the Celtics in the first round. He’s had success with the Heat, but the Sixers could potentially promise him more.