Sixers' Jimmy Butler Recruitment Looks Bleak Despite Massive Offer

The Philadelphia 76ers are steadfast in their interest in Jimmy Butler but a potential trade remains unlikely.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are notably interested in bringing a third star next to Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid this summer. They have a ton of cap space and a blank slate of a roster since the only rotation player under contract for next season is Embiid. How they choose to fill it out remains the most important question of the offseason for the Sixers.

One of the biggest names linked with Philadelphia has been former Sixer Jimmy Butler. The 34-year-old star will enter the final year of his contract with the Heat and Miami has been playing hardball with him so far. This has increased the speculation around a potential return to Philly for the six-time All-Star.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed this interest but said that a trade between Miami and the Sixers was unlikely due to the Heat's lack of willingness to part ways with Butler.

"Sources continue to say the Sixers plan to give Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler a maximum-salary extension if they can acquire him in a trade. But as of Tuesday, a source said that was unlikely because of Miami’s unwillingness to part ways with the six-time All-Star who wants a contract extension this summer."

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer

This is understandable on Miami's part. The Sixers don't have anything to offer to Miami in exchange for Butler except for draft capital. Philly has no contracts on their books and would bring Butler into their cap space.

Parting ways with Butler without any players in return would force the Heat into a rebuild. Pat Riley is justifiably not interested in that after making the NBA Finals only a year ago.

The only way a Butler-to-Sixers scenario can happen is if he forces his way to Philly. Butler can demand a trade, make things hell for the Heat, and request that they send him to the Sixers. The Heat organization would likely honor this request due to their respect for Butler but it doesn't seem like that is currently in the cards.

We know that Sixers GM Daryl Morey will do everything in his power to bring Jimmy Butler or another star to Philadelphia. There won't be any stone unturned but whether it will be enough to build a championship-caliber roster around Embiid remains to be seen.

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