Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Jimmy Butler backed to remain with the Philadelphia 76ers
What's the story?
As an impending free agent, Jimmy Butler is believed to be among the Los Angeles Lakers' primary targets this summer. Reports earlier this week also claimed that Butler was one of the stars that LeBron James was attempting to convince to move to LA, although during an appearance on ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith suggested that Butler is likely to remain with the Sixers:
If your Jimmy Butler why would you leave Philadelphia? He's got that town in the palms of his hands right now. It's not because of the numbers, it's because of the way he has played in clutch moments.
I think its a really good possibility that he stays. I know him and Tobias Harris can't necessarily co-exist... although the Sixers will definitely prioritize keeping Jimmy Butler over Harris.
In case you didn't know...
After enjoying successful spells in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler headed to Philadelphia last November in the trade that sent Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Šarić and a 2022 second-round draft pick to the Timberwolves.
Butler went on to make an immediate impact in Philadelphia, averaging 18.2 points and 5.3 rebounds during the regular season; and he was widely praised during his performances during the postseason.
The heart of the matter
The Lakers are desperate to add a second All-Star to pair with LeBron James this summer, and if Butler opts to stay with Philadelphia, they will have to look elsewhere.
LA could attempt to secure a deal for a lesser star such as Kemba Walker or Khris Middleton, although it is questionable if their arrivals would be enough to transform the Lakers into contenders.
The Lakers and 76ers are preparing for next months NBA draft, with the Lakers locked in with the number four pick.