Report: 76ers ready to give Jimmy Butler what he wants if he forces trade from Heat

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly would offer Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler a max contract extension if he were to force a trade out of Miami.

“It’s no secret that the 76ers are closely monitoring Jimmy Butler’s contract situation with the Miami Heat,” Keith Pompey wrote.

“The Sixers view him as a fallback option if they are unable to sign Paul George in free agency.

“And, according to sources, the Sixers are prepared to give Butler a maximum-salary extension if things align and he forces a trade out of Miami.

The six-time All-Star reportedly wants a max extension — whether it be from the Heat or another team.

In recent weeks, Butler has been linked fairly often to the 76ers, though it’s important to note that NBA executives believe he will most likely stay in Miami.

Butler spent a short time of his NBA career with the 76ers organization before joining the Heat. He appeared in 55 games for Philadelphia back in the 2018-19 regular season and averaged 18.2 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the floor as well as 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals per contest.

During the 76ers’ stint in the 2019 NBA Playoffs — which came to a close after the team lost Game 7 of its second-round series against Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors — the 34-year-old averaged more points (19.4), rebounds (6.0) and assists (5.2) per game than he did during the regular season with Philadelphia.

But ever since Butler was dealt from the 76ers to the Heat in the 2019 offseason, he has remained a member of the latter. Plus, with Butler leading the way, Miami has consistently made deep playoff runs since the start of the decade.

Since 2020, the Heat have reached two NBA Finals, with the team’s most recent appearance in the championship series coming in 2023, when Miami lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games. The squad also appeared in the NBA Finals back in 2020, the dawn of the decade.

It is worth noting that the Heat are fresh off arguably their worst playoff stint since Butler has been on the team. Miami was dominated by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics in five games in the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, though Butler was sidelined for the full series thanks to an MCL injury.

A Butler-76ers reunion might make sense for both parties, but with all the collective success that the forward has enjoyed as a member of the Heat franchise and Philadelphia’s shaky playoff reputation, it’s debatable whether Butler would have a better chance of winning a title next season with the 76ers than the Heat.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.