Despite a heated confrontation with head coach Brett Brown, the Philadelphia 76ers are keen on re-signing 29-year-old All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe.
Last week, it was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com that Butler "aggressively challenged" Brown and showed some dissatisfaction with his role on the team. Butler downplayed the altercation and told reporters it made the team "better".
Per Lowe, the 76ers "still hope to re-sign," the two-way star, who is likely to opt out of his contract after this season. That would set up Butler nicely to earn a massive contract this summer, and given that he turns 30 later this year, it likely marks the last time he'll land such a lucrative deal.
After the 76ers traded for Butler back in November, Wojnarowski reported that both Butler and the organization were keen on working out an extension. Given his success with the team, and the fact Philly has more than enough cap space to get a deal done, there is good reason to believe the 76ers will be able to keep retain their All-Star player.
In 23 games with the 76ers, Butler is averaging 18.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Philadelphia currently sits fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 27-15 record, as Butler, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid continue to work in building up a championship caliber group here.
The 76ers gave up a pair of quality roster players in Robert Covington and Dario Saric to land Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trade has paid off so far, but it'll only work out in the long run if they manage to re-sign him long term.
What This Means
At this point, the only way Butler doesn't stay in Philly is if he simply doesn't want to. It's up to coach Brown and the players to ensure Butler is happy about his role, because his presence gives them that much better of a chance in winning a championship.