Jimmy Butler

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Butler: 'Hopefully I'll get a max contract anywhere'

Dave Uram
May 13, 2019 - 3:31 pm

The 76ers top priority last off-season was to hunt for a star. This off-season, that star is right under their nose. They need to do whatever they can to bring the adult in the room back with a long term contract. 

Related: JJ Redick, Joel Embiid support Brett Brown

“Technically, I think I’ll—knock on wood, hopefully—I’ll get a max contract anywhere I chose to go,” Jimmy Butler said Monday at the 76ers Training Facility in Camden. 

Butler, who has a player option that most people believe he will decline, was made for Philadelphia. His grit, determination and mindset is exactly what this city loves. So, put that together with the fact that he’s the exact type of impactful veteran, star and leader the Sixers need going forward—it should be a no brainer. Bring him back, at whatever cost. 

And cost doesn't seem to matter to Butler. He believes that max contract he seeks, whether four or five years, will be plenty of money, on top of what he's already earned in his career. Right now, he cares about winning, coaching, the city he plays for and if those who are near and dear to him are happy. 

“I haven’t thought about it too much,” Butler said when asked about potential free agency. “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. I want to make sure that their families are happy just like I’m happy.” 

It’s not surprising Butler said that. He would be doing himself a disservice by not leaving the door open for any possibility. Even though he implies dollar figures don’t matter, it would take any potential leverage of his out of his hand. 

Regardless, here's the bottom line—the Sixers window is still very much open. It's imperative to either retain the nucleus put together in season, or start with a strong, new one at the beginning of next season. The latter, as we learned last summer, is hard. So, to keep that window open—Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick should be retained to make sure this roster can continue to compete. ​

“It is (built to win a championship), man,” Butler said. “We just had a slight hiccup. But, I think what hurts more than the loss is the fact that we had a great group of guys that was riding for one another. It was special. We enjoyed playing with each other. You couldn’t mess with anybody on that team because somebody else was always going to be there in your face. But, to think that this roster may not be the exact same next year, that’s what really hurts.” 

It doesn’t need to hurt. If all parties are on the same page, the core nucleus the Sixers front office pieced together in season can be brought back. But, if there’s one guy to hone on—it’s Butler. He spoke highly of Brett Brown, the roster, the Sixers organization and the fans. It’s a perfect match that should last beyond six months. 

“(Philadelphia) is so different than any other place,” Butler said. “They welcome me and everybody else that got here that was not here at the beginning of the year with open arms, and as long as you play hard, this city love you. You give it your all, that’s all they ask of you. 

“It’s definitely been fun to meet and interact with the fans and the people that work for this organization that have been absolutely incredible and amazing. We could’t be the players that we are without them, without the fans, without the people around here. 

“The journey’s been amazing. We don’t know where it goes from here, but I’m very appreciative.”