On Thursday, Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times explained during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd that the Clippers "do not want to sign" Butler, though the rival Los Angeles Lakers might make a strong push to sign the four-time All-Star selection:
Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi
When @ColinCowherd asked me this morning on @TheHerd what star player the Lakers could realistically sign, I didn’t waste any time saying Jimmy Butler. He likes L.A, LeBron James has been in touch with him and he would join the Lakers in a second if they offered him a max deal. https://t.co/wXStzcAFzh
Butler joined the Sixers from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a November trade.
Although Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN initially reported a long-term contract extension was expected, there's been little talk about progress toward a new deal with free agency looming.
Meanwhile, ESPN's Brian Windhorst noted Thursday the Lakers' LeBron James has already started to recruit players to join him in L.A., including Butler:
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Markazi didn't confirm why the Clippers aren't interested in Butler, although he did note the organization is interested in signing both Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant.
Durant and Leonard feature alongside Butler, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Kemba Walker, among others, in what could be a star-studded free-agent class, so the Clips will likely have no shortage of options as they seek star power for their roster.
The Lakers and Clippers could end up in direct competition for a few of those superstars as what's shaping up to become a wild NBA offseason takes center stage over the next few months.
When it comes to Butler, however, the Clippers apparently have no desire to challenge James and Co.