As the hourglass of the NBA offseason runs out of sand, the Jimmy Butler situation remains unsettled. While most would take the safe bet and predict he ends up in Miami, according to ESPN‘s Zach Lowe, the All-Star has his eyes on the Philadelphia 76ers:
“Philly would be a different story, and Butler has eyes for them, sources familiar with the matter say. The Sixers have expressed almost no interest in trading for him, sources say.”
The fact that any team is not aggressive in trying to trade for Butler knowing he is interested, is an unfathomable mistake. Butler is one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and as last week showed, has the true “Mamba Mentality” so many of today’s players lack. If the Sixers expressing “no interest” is due to them believing they could lose him in free agency this summer, that is a risk they are foolishly not taking.
Of course, currently “having his eyes on” does not mean he would re-sign with the 76ers in the summer. That said, he is sure to contemplate it. The 76ers have the assets to make this trade work and become one of the best teams in the NBA.
No, the Timberwolves do not truly believe they can get back Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons like they countered with. The common belief last spring was the 76ers could make a run at Kawhi Leonard with a package built around Robert Covington. And that is where the 76ers should start.
Other young players like Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric are also much more appealing than what other rumored teams are able to offer. At this point, the Sixers should try to get it done without Fultz, but that’s unlikely to happen.
As far as keeping Butler, the world just saw what happened when the Thunder got a hold of Paul George. And the 76ers would be welcoming Butler to two of the best young players in the NBA.
The NBA comes down to your stars vs. my stars, and like the Houston Rockets, the 76ers are making a huge mistake not going all-in on what is their missing piece.
Take the risk, go for the title.