$146 Million Ex-Sixers Star Predicted to Switch Teams This Offseason

Former Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler could be at a crossroads with the Miami Heat. With all the rumors surrounding his long-term status there, The Ringer’s Howard Beck believes his time in South Beach will end this offseason.

“Jimmy Butler will be traded. Rival executives have been buzzing about it for months for all the obvious reasons. Butler is about to turn 35 (with a lot of hard miles and a lot of injuries), with one year left on his Heat contract, and is reportedly seeking a two-year, $113 million extension. If the Heat grant it, they’ll have little to no flexibility to add another star. And they absolutely need one.”

Beck did not specify where the Heat would trade him, but if his prediction comes true, it opens the door for Butler to reunite with the Sixers. The Sixers have the cap room to absorb his contract without any issues at all. Re-acquiring him will come at the cost of giving up some draft assets. Knowing his accomplishments, that return package would be worth it despite Butler’s age.

Even is he is 35, Butler has made two NBA Finals and had success with the Sixers in 2019 before leaving the following offseason. Butler will enter the second year of a three-year, $146 million contract.

Sixers Will Give Jimmy Butler Extension He Wants: Report

The Sixers’ interest in reuniting with Butler is nothing to sneeze at. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported that the Sixers see him as a Plan B. More than that, they would give him the extension he wants if they acquired him.

“The Sixers view (Butler) as a fallback option if they are unable to sign Paul George in free agency,” Pompey wrote in a May 28 story. “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 could use this as leverage in discussions with the Heat. However, giving him the extension that Miami might refuse could definitely make a trade work. The Sixers want to capitalize on the window they have with Joel Embiid. It looked like they had something with Butler that they never quite re-captured after he left.

Getting him back could put them in the same tier as their division rival and reigning NBA champion, the Boston Celtics.

Sixers Have ‘Waning Interest’ in Paul George: Report

The buzz surrounding Butler’s possible departure from Miami could coincide with the Sixers losing interest in George. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Sixers no longer have interest in bringing in George.

“The Philadelphia 76ers’ interest in pursuing Paul George has significantly waned in recent days,” Charnia posted on his X account. “The franchise is expected to be aggressive elsewhere with its salary cap flexibility and draft capital leading into next week’s NBA Draft.”

George technically is not a free agent. He can choose to opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s possible that he will stick around with the Clippers or that he has no interest in joining the Sixers.

Alternatively, the Sixers may truly believe Butler is on the market, and they can get him. If so, there would be little use for George.

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