Jimmy Butler is one of the most talented players in this free agent class, but his desires will ultimately come to sway his decision.
Jimmy Butler had quite the interesting 2018-19 campaign. Originally a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, a trade request followed by what seemed to be one entertaining practice session eventually landed him with the Philadelphia 76ers towards the end of November.
A four-time All-Star and consistent 20-point per game scorer, his arrival in Philadelphia unofficially marked the end of The Process.
As is the case with just about any star-level player upon reaching their new team, Butler experienced some growing pains early on in Philly.
The fit alongside his new teammates was questionable while getting acclimated to more time spent off the ball was a circumstance he hadn’t faced since his early NBA days.
Still, Butler came through when the regular season flipped into the playoffs. His points, rebounds and assists all increased while the Sixers were a plus-10.8 per 100 possessions with him on the court.
Whatever concerns people had regarding Butler’s abilities and possible value to a team were washed away when he helped Philly to within a few lucky bounces of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Despite being a notch below the cream of the free agent crop, he’s likely earned himself a max contract.
Where things get tricky is in regards to which team will entrust the soon to be 30-year-old with the keys to their franchise. Even upon figuring that out, it’s tough to fully understand what a guy like Butler values most.
Every player says they want to win, but a rags-to-riches story seems to have built up quite the ego inside Jimmy’s head that has his mind on other things.
He’s one of the best two-way players in the NBA today with a penchant for taking and making late-game shots.
On the court, those skills can translate to a number of teams across the league. Whether or not those will be the deciding factors is a saga we will soon see unfold come free agency on June 30.