Jimmy Butler's tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers has only lasted 21 games, but the All-Star guard is already unhappy over his current role under head coach Brett Brown.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, Butler "has aggressively challenged coach" Brown over his role, even being "vocal" about it during one of the team's film meetings.
Per Shelburne and Wojnarowski, Brown wasn't bothered by Butler challenging him during during that session, which took place in Portland. However, witnesses called the latter's actions "disrespectful."
Butler was acquired by the 76ers in a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in November, and Wojnarowski said at the time that the plan was for the 76ers to re-sign their star acquisition long term. Now, there are already questions about if Butler can be a piece of this team's quest to bring home an NBA championship.
Philadelphia sits fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 25-14 record. Acquiring Butler helped them form a new 'big three' alongside with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Even if Butler isn't pleased with his role, the stats suggest that he's been a fine fit for Brown's system.
The 29-year-old Butler has averaged 18 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in 21 contests with the 76ers. Butler has also made 38.8 percent of his three-point shots as a 76er, far above his career percentage of 34.3.
Per Shelburne and Wojnarowsi, the 76ers are still intent on keeping the big three together, and though it's believed Butler will meet with other teams in free agency, he prefers to re-sign with the 76ers. If that's the case, there are differences that need to be sorted out between he and coach Brown.
What This Means
The 76ers gave up a lot to acquire the five-time All-Star, and losing Butler in free agency would be a major blow to their championship hopes. That adds plenty of pressure for Philly to find a role for Butler that will make him all the more merrier. Otherwise, they stand to lose him in the offseason.