By Michael Bennett
Sixers fans have their hair on fire about whether free agent Jimmy Butler will sign to stay in Philly or takes his talents to one of the other teams that crave him.
Well, at least we now know that the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t one of those teams.
Should a team feel comfortable giving Butler — who will turn 30 before next season, is a hard-charging personality who plays a hard-charging style that can be hard on his body, and has only once played 70 or more games in the past six seasons — a four-year, $141 million max contract?
If the Lakers strike out with Kyrie Irving and other top targets (Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are not interested, according to sources), should they give Butler the max and sign him comfortable or not?
LeBron James has already reached out to start recruiting Butler, and if the Lakers offer him the max Butler would love to come, Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times said on the Colin Cowherd.
Markazi adds that the Clippers are not interested because they are aiming higher on the food chain
That is what a lot of sources have said about the Clippers, they would need to move Danilo Gallinari (and do a little more) to sign both Leonard and Durant, but would and should in a heartbeat.
Butler is going to have options, starting with the Sixers, who do not want to let him go. As it got near the end of Philly’s playoff run it had seemed Butler had found a home, both on the court as a primary ball handler in the halfcourt, and off the court as a leader and someone who bonded with Joel Embiid. Also, Philly can offer more money, a projected $190 million over five years, and for a guy who has had injury issues that extra year and extra money might matter a lot.
Is Butler going to stay? What should we read into his cryptic Instagram post? If he leaves, does he want to play with LeBron? Is that the Lakers’ best option? (I think the Lakers should prefer Irving, who is younger and coming off an All-NBA regular season, plus he has a track record of winning with LeBron, but if not him…)