Jimmy Butler on 76ers Ahead of Free Agency: 'I Could See This Being Home'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 113-107. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Seven games into his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler entertained the idea of re-signing with the team in the offseason.

Speaking to reporters, Butler said the Sixers have a "helluva locker room" and a "helluva staff" and that he "could see this being home."

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

"This is a helluva locker room and helluva staff. I could see this being home." @JimmyButler likes it here. #HereTheyCome https://t.co/yrE0ZQdwnr

Butler can opt out of his contract in the offseason, which creates some doubt about his long-term future in Philadelphia.

But ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after his trade to the team that "Butler and the Sixers fully expect to reach a deal on a long-term contract this summer."

It's also worth noting Butler was prepared to sign a max extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves in spite of an uneven first year with the team. According to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski, Butler finally requested a trade after the Timberwolves were only prepared to offer him a four-year, $110 million deal instead of the full supermax.

Unless things go completely off the rails in Philadelphia, Butler will have every reason to return to the Sixers.

The 76ers can offer Butler a five-year deal worth around $190 million, whereas every other team will be limited to a four-year, $140 million contract. Philadelphia should also be poised to contend for an NBA title for years to come, something Butler can't get with many other franchises.

The Eastern Conference looks even more open with the Boston Celtics' surprising struggles this season.

The Sixers probably won't reach the NBA Finals in 2019, but a run to the conference finals would represent progress and likely be enough to assure Butler about the team's direction.