For the third time in under a calendar year, the Philadelphia 76ers revamped their roster.
The Sixers made two major changes last season acquiring Butler and Tobias Harris in separate deals. Now, at the start of free agency they’ve done it yet again.
There are just as many questions remaining now than when they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Will the most recent changes put them over the top in the Eastern Conference? Does this team fit together better now than before?
Until the playoffs arrive next season, those questions can’t be answered.
Before we can think of next season’s potential, there’s some unfinished business with Butler.
Did Butler get a max offer from Sixers?
According to Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports, Butler received a five-year, $190 million max contract offer to remain in Philadelphia.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Butler did not receive a max offer.
Here’s the side of the story coming from @wojespn on Sportscenter with SVP right now — says the Sixers were, “out of the Jimmy Butler business.”
“They were not giving Jimmy Butler a five year max, they were not giving Jimmy Butler a four-year max.”
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 1, 2019
It’s still unknown if Butler chose the Miami Heat over the Sixers due to being slighted in contract negotiations or if the money and winning weren’t his top priorities.
Even though it doesn’t matter anymore since the deal is done, it’s important to know if they considered Butler a fit long-term.
Butler’s long term fit was questionable
It would have been a tough fit with both Butler and Ben Simmons on the same team long term. Head coach Brett Brown sees Simmons as the primary ball handler but during the playoffs, Butler became the primary ball-handler.
There were also questions regarding the fit between Harris and Butler. Harris did not play his best basketball once he joined the Sixers and wasn’t effective when Butler dominated the ball.
Butler is more of an isolation scorer as opposed to Harris’ style of moving the ball for the best possible shot.
Perhaps once all these trades and signings are official, we will get the truth about what was offered.
If the Sixers indeed offered him the max and intended on having him for a long time, the organization did a great job salvaging this offseason.
Getting Richardson in the sign-and-trade with Miami and Horford as a free agent were a nice haul. The only question is if they got their plan A or plan B scenario.
It could have been a disastrous offseason for the team, but instead they should be one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference again.
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