Tension between the Philadelphia 76ers and Jimmy Butler has been reported. It’s also been noticed by other NBA teams thinking about potential trades.
A report from Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report says that one team has already called Philadelphia to inquire about Butler’s availability.
“An opposing team has already called to ask if this latest blowup means Butler might be on the market, according to league sources,” Weitzman noted. “This, as rumors swirl around NBA circles that the Sixers, spooked that Butler will bolt when he becomes a free agent this summer, are contemplating dealing Butler before the trade deadline.”
It would be a quick turnaround. Butler was only acquired by the 76ers in November.
But given the circumstances surrounding Butler’s departure from the Minnesota Timberwolves (which led to Philadelphia trading for him), we can’t say that we’re surprised that things aren’t going smoothly with the 76ers, either.
Butler would still likely draw a decent return on the trade market. He’s averaging 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and two steals a game. Butler is shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 38.8 percent on threes, and 88.2 percent from the line. Butler also has a reputation as being one of the best two-way players in the league.
Obviously, his status as a free agent would hurt Philadelphia’s return in a potential trade. But it’s not hard to imagine a contender — particularly one with a shrinking championship window — making this deal. If the 76ers feel he’ll leave anyway, we could definitely see this happening.