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NBA Rumors: Jimmy Butler backed to remain with the Sixers; move to the Lakers unlikely

23 Jun 2019, 21:12 IST

After a successful six months with the Sixers, Jimmy Butler is set to hit free agency later this month
After a successful six months with the Sixers, Jimmy Butler is set to hit free agency later this month

What's the story?

Following the addition of Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler is now believed to be among the Los Angeles Lakers' primary targets. The 29-year-old will hit free agency later this month, although Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders is reporting that Philadelphia can secure Butler's signature by offering him a max contract:

When Jimmy did his deal in Chicago, he got a signing bonus and an advance - that made his final year significantly lower in cash paid than the cap hold - Jimmy's cap value is $19.8m, his max will be $30m. The big question is how much and how long? Philly can make this really easy on themselves with a max offer.

In case you didn't know...

After successful spells in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler headed to the Sixers last November. Butler's passion and commitment quickly won over Philadelphia's fans, and he was his team's best performer as the Sixers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Toronto Raptors. During the regular season, he averaged 18.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

The heart of the matter

In order to contend with the NBA's best, the Lakers still need to add a third star for the upcoming season. However, the Lakers have yet to free up enough cap space to sign a player to a max contract, and Butler appears more than content to remain in Philadelphia.

Due to this, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers may be forced to alter their plans and target a lesser third star such as Kemba Walker or Nikola Vucevic.

What's next?

NBA teams can begin to contact free agents from the 29th of June at 6 p.m, while the official window opens a day later, on June 30. Contracts, however, can't be officially signed until July 6.

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