Now that the Philadelphia 76ers have been eliminated from the playoffs, all eyes turn towards Jimmy Butler’s free agency decision.
While Kawhi Leonard’s epic game-winning shot in game seven of the Eastern Conference semi-finals will live on as one of the greatest moments, it also started the countdown on Jimmy Butler’s free agency decision. After his strange offseason and early season behavior with the Minnesota Timberwolves eventually got him traded to Philadelphia, Butler played well in Philly.
But Butler did not play as well as he did in his previous seasons. Since Butler will hit the age of 30 just shortly after next season starts, it only makes sense that he will demand his max contract now. In fact, he has already made it known that he will only take a max contract and nothing else:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 14, 2019
While some may see this as Butler only trying to chase money instead of championships, it is a smart decision for him to make. With him turning 30 soon, this likely will be his last opportunity to get a max contract.
Because this year’s free agency class is so deep, if Butler wants to get his max contract from a popular team, he might have to wait. With teams such as the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers trying to get free agents Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard, they may wait before calling Butler.
Obviously the 76ers can still offer Butler the most money, but it remains to be seen if they want to fork out all that money for him with a lot of other decisions that need to be made. It seems as if Butler wants to be viewed as the No. 1 option for any team trying to sign him. In that case, a team like the Brooklyn Nets could be the perfect fit for him. With cap space to sign him and talented players already on the roster, Butler could end up in the perfect situation.
There will definitely be a few teams willing to offer Butler a max contract this offseason. The key is if he’ll be able to compete for an NBA championship on whatever team he ends up on.