Jimmy Butler Says He Plans to Retire from the NBA Before He's 35 Years Old

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 30:  Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 30 , 2018 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler is still in his prime but doesn't plan to remain in the NBA for too many more seasons.

After the 29-year-old was asked Tuesday about how his body would hold up at 35, he provided a somewhat surprising response.

"I don't plan on playing this game when I'm 35 years old," Butler said, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "So I'm not even worried about that. I'll be done with this game before I'm 35."

Butler was also noncommittal about how long exactly he will play.

"That's between me and whatever I tell myself later on," he added. "But, I'm telling you right now, 35, I'm trying to be done before then."

This could create some interesting decisions as the four-time All-Star potentially prepares for free agency this offseason.

As Pompey noted, Butler can sign a five-year, $190-million max contract with the 76ers next summer, which would keep him under contract through his age-34 season.

Otherwise, the wing could either pick up his option for $19.8 million in 2019-20 or decline the option and hit free agency in the offseason.

In any case, his limited remaining playing time could factor into a team giving him a long-term deal, especially if he believes his level of play will diminish in his final seasons.

Butler has played at a high level since being traded to Philadelphia, averaging 18.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 20 appearances, but his future is suddenly a major question mark.

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