Jimmy Butler Rumors: Clippers 'Do Not Want to Sign' 76ers SF in 2019 Free Agency

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler in action during the second half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Philadelphia. 76ers won 116-95. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly aren't interested in pursuing Philadelphia 76ers small forward Jimmy Butler if he utilizes a player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

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:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

“From what I understand, [LeBron] has already begun the recruiting process. I’ve heard he has had contact with Kawhi Leonard. I’ve heard he’s had contact with Jimmy Butler.” —@WindhorstESPN reporting on @PTI https://t.co/2ppJjjL60h

Butler averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals across 55 appearances for the Sixers and ranked 17th in the NBA in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus.

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.


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