Jimmy Butler Rumors: 'The Feeling' Is Nets Have 'Very Real Chance' at 76ers Star

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler in action during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

As Jimmy Butler mulls whether or not he will opt out of the final year of his contract, the Brooklyn Nets are emerging as a serious potential suitor for the four-time All-Star. 

Per Brian Lewis of the New York Post, there is a "feeling" within NBA circles that the Nets "have a very real chance" to sign Butler. 

Butler holds a $19.8 million player option with the Philadelphia 76ers next season, though he's made no secret of his desire to get a new max contract. 

"Technically I think, knock on wood, I will get a max contract anywhere I choose to go," Butler told reporters Tuesday as part of the Sixers' season-ending press conference. "So if you are talking a four-year, five-year [contract], that is more than enough money anyway. I think I still have more than enough money now from my first deal."

Sixers general manager Elton Brand told reporters in February that he received "all assurances from the managing partners" they could re-sign Butler and Tobias Harris. 

The Nets, who lost to Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, are on the rise in the Eastern Conference. Their 42-40 record in 2018-19 was a 14-game improvement from the previous season. They have a strong young nucleus with Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Per BasketballInsiders.com, the Nets could have up to $68.1 million in cap space if Allen Crabbe declines his option.

Butler had a successful transition to Philadelphia after being acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in November. The 29-year-old averaged 18.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 55 games following the deal. 

The 76ers' season ended in heartbreaking fashion against the Toronto Raptors on Kawhi Leonard's buzzer-beater in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. 

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