The Sixers are star hunting and Jimmy Butler certainly fits that bill.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ wing, who on Wednesday reportedly demanded a trade, is a two-time All-NBA pick, four-time All-Star, and a four-time selection for the All-Defensive team.
So the Sixers should absolutely be all in on their pursuit of Butler, right?
There is no question Butler would make the Sixers better immediately. He’d instantly become the best wing on the team. The trio of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Butler would give the Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward-led Boston Celtics a run for their money in the East.
But with all that said, Butler is simply not a great fit here. Starting with the obvious, Butler has said he’d only be interested in signing extensions with the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks or Los Angeles Clippers. What do those teams have in common? Well, none of them are very good and they’d be able to offer Butler a max deal. He’d instantaneously become that team’s best and highest-paid player.
Then you have the off-the-court drama. Butler forced his way out of Chicago. Now he’s forcing his way out of Minnesota. Maybe the common denominator here is Butler himself. Do you really want to bring a disgruntled, 29-year-old player, that’s never seemed happy playing second or third fiddle to anyone, here to play with two of the brightest young stars in the NBA?
Lastly, there’s on-court fit. Sure, he’s a wing, and a difference-making swingman should be at the top of the Sixers’ wish list. But Butler isn’t a perfect fit alongside Embiid and Simmons. He’s a ball dominant player that is just an OK outside shooter (34 percent from three for his career). The Sixers need the literal opposite of that.
After the team couldn’t coax LeBron James to sign here or work out a trade for Kawhi Leonard, the fan base’s desire to acquire a star is at a fever pitch. It's understandable.
But you should cross Jimmy Butler off your list.