Jimmy Butler is a Philadelphia 76er…for now. What happens next is anybody’s guess.
Jeff Goodman, host of the Good N’ Plenty podcast on CLNS Media, sat down with The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski (who along with Shams Charnia broke the story of Butler to Philly.) As good as Butler has been, he has serious baggage having burned bridges in Chicago and Minnesota. There are questions whether he can mesh with his new teammates and whether he’s getting max money after the season. Goodman says he’s not so sure.
“Who knows what the market is for him when he becomes a free agent next year,” said Goodman. “It’s not like every team wants Jimmy Butler for max money. I mean even the Celtics didn’t really want him when he was traded to Minnesota. There are a bunch of teams that don’t want to deal with him right now because of what he brings or doesn’t bring to the locker-room.”
Butler’s antics in Minnesota have cast doubt about just what type of teammate his is and what his motivation truly is. Butler says he’s all about winning but he also wants to be paid top dollar.
“There are all sorts of inconsistencies that we saw through this whole thing,” Krawczynski told Goodman. “First Butler will say it’s not about the money but then it is about the money. He said during this whole ordeal that he rides with his guys and has his teammates’ back the whole way. But then he doesn’t ride the team bus with them to games. He doesn’t sit on the bench when he’s out with ‘rest’. So there’s certainly mixed messages with Jimmy.”
As for how this is going to work in Philly, Krawczynski says it all boils down to how Butler jells with new teammates.
“He’s legitimately one of the top 15 players in the league, maybe closer to top 10 when he’s healthy and locked in. If he fits in from a relationship standpoint with those young guys [in Philly], he fills a lot of the gaps that they need otherwise.”
But Butler’s tendency to want to be the man on any team he’s on could certainly be an issue in Philly. Goodman offered it can never truly be Butler’s 76ers.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how this goes. With Joel Embiid, it won’t be Jimmy’s team. And it will never be Jimmy’s team in Philly, and he probably wrestled with himself. He wants it to be his team,yet he wants to win at the highest level, but you can’t win at the highest level with Butler being the number one guy.”
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