Jimmy Butler and other star forwards linked to 76ers by NBA insider

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The seasons of both the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers ended on different nights this week, and rumors linking Heat star Jimmy Butler to the 76ers are already swirling.

NBA insider Brian Windhorst appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Friday morning and revealed that Butler is among a list of stars that the 76ers may target this offseason.

“There’s gonna be a number of names that are gonna come up, but I’m gonna give you two off the bat here,” Windhorst said after mentioning that Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers will be the 76ers’ first target. “Both involve players who can get extensions with their teams, but for various reasons will not.

“The first name to watch is Jimmy Butler from the Miami Heat. He has got two years left on his contract. There is interest in him extending, and you may remember, and I know the Sixers fans do, the Sixers chose this Tobias Harris contract instead of paying Jimmy Butler five years ago. Well, that contract is up. If Jimmy Butler wants to extend and the Heat are not willing to do it, you know facing heavy luxury tax penalties, is there a way to revisit that?”

The other player that Windhorst mentioned was New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram.

If the 76ers were to choose between Ingram and Butler, they’d have some pretty clear variables to weigh. The two most important would arguably be age and experience.

Butler is currently 34 years old and will turn 35 in September. Ingram, on the other hand, is just 26 years old.

With that in mind, Ingram has had very little playoff success in his career. As for Butler, he has helped lead the Heat to two NBA Finals series within the last four years.

All that aside, Butler and Ingram are two very different players when it comes to style on the court and leadership. Still, it may be hard for the decision-makers in Philly to feel good about offering a max contract to a 34-year-old player who just missed his team’s entire playoff run due to injury.

While the playoff chase continues for the elite teams within the NBA this season, the offseason drama is already starting for the teams that weren’t able to make it to the second round.

Only time will tell where all this drama leads.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.