Jimmy Butler Rumors: 76ers Were Prepared to Offer Max Contract Under Stipulation

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers guards Jimmy Butler (23) and JJ Redick (17) celebrate a basket against the Chicago Bulls during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Chicago. The Bulls won 108-107. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers surely could have used Jimmy Butler during their first-round loss to the Boston Celtics, but he reportedly was not interested in their stipulations last summer.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Philadelphia was "prepared" to offer Butler a max contract extension at the end of the 2018-19 campaign as long as he didn't take any other visits to potential landing spots.

The team demanded this even though "Butler was lukewarm on re-signing with Philly last offseason and the organization was aware." 

Alas, Haynes reported Butler did not agree to such a condition and eventually landed on the Miami Heat as part of a four-team trade.

Haynes provided more details on the split between the 76ers and Butler, noting the five-time All-Star "wasn't sold that the team was invested in winning, and his leadership style rubbed some the wrong way at times."

Head coach Brett Brown apparently was not a fan of Butler's outspokenness, while "Ben Simmons once took issue with a text message Butler sent in a team group chat that instructed Simmons what not to do in an upcoming game against Brooklyn."

The Sixers may not have always loved playing with Butler, but his toughness and ability to impact the game on both ends was missing as Boston swept them in the opening round of the playoffs.

It marked a bitter end to one of the league's most disappointing seasons, as the 76ers entered the 2019-20 campaign with championship aspirations and exited as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference that didn't win a single playoff game.

What's more, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported "Brown is without internal momentum to return for his eighth season as coach, and a final decision could come soon."

In contrast, Butler thrived as an All-Star on the Heat, and his team leads the Indiana Pacers 3-0 in their first-round playoff series. Miami is one win away from advancing to the second round for a potential showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 76ers won't be able to do anything but watch that series.