Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving

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Jimmy Butler following Kyrie Irving to Nets?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
June 06, 2019 - 8:21 am

Which team Sixers free agent guard Jimmy Butler decides to sign with could end up being one of the biggest dominos to fall, during what should be a wild NBA offseason. 

Related: Avery Johnson interviewing for role as Sixers' assistant

If he stays with the Sixers, they will once again be viewed as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and a legitimate NBA Finals contender. If he leaves, that might not be the case, but he could end up making another team a force in the Eastern Conference. 

Although it was just an off-handed comment at the end of a segment on ESPN's The Jump, former NBA player Stephen Jackson sure seemed to know something when he said that if Irving does decide to go to the Brooklyn Nets, Butler could be right behind him, leaving the Sixers and joining the team they beat in the NBA Playoffs this season. 

This is not the first time that Butler has been linked to the Nets, as the New York Post reported back in May that "The feeling around the NBA is the Nets will have a very real chance to pry four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler away from Philadelphia."

Butler potentially leaving the Sixers for the Nets would not be overly surprising, as it has been believed all along that he wants to go play in a city like Los Angeles or New York. The Nets are the better of the two teams in New York, and if they signed Irving as well, they would have to be viewed as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, they could also pursue Warriors free-agent Kevin Durant. 

Butler stressed on the final day of the Sixers' season that although he wants to win, making sure the people around him are happy as well is a top priority. 

“I mean I got to sit down and really talk to my team, not like the team here with the organization. I have so many guys that sacrifice so much to make sure that I play at a high level," Butler said. "I want to make sure that their families are happy just like I’m happy.” 

One advantage the Sixers have over any team, including the Nets, is that they can offer Butler an extra year worth roughly $40 million. Considering Butler is 29-years old, and this is likely his last mega-contract in the NBA, turning down roughly $40 million and an extra year of security might be hard for him to do. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!