It hasn’t been a smooth transition for Jimmy Butler into the Sixers’ offense and apparently, he’s been vocal about his fit.
Butler is reportedly unhappy with his role in the Sixers’ offense, according to ESPN. Butler has “aggressively challenged” Brett Brown and his offensive system, per the report.
The report mentions a “disrespectful” film session in Portland and that Butler has spoken with both Brown and GM Elton Brand privately about the four-time All-Star’s fit.
Butler missed the last game of the Sixers’ road trip with an upper-respiratory infection and was not at practice Friday because of the illness. The report came out after Brown had addressed reporters. The team offered no comment when asked about the Butler-Brown report by NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Butler obviously came to Philadelphia with a reputation. Thus far, he’d been assimilating just fine off the court and appears to be getting along with his teammates.
Brown acknowledged back in early December that Butler is not afraid to speak his mind, but also mentioned that it’s welcomed.
To me, he’s fantastic because I think if you can talk with somebody, you can coach him. He’s fun to talk with. He’s got such a tremendous personality. He’s a free spirit — there are lots of great players that have that maverick in them. He’s not like a ‘yes, sir, no, sir’ Boy Scout guy, and that’s fine by me. It’s an enjoyable conversation. His growth — and you can see it on his face, he shines. He’s got tremendous personality. I like that. I think that’s helpful for the team, and I’m seeing it in increments.
You don't want to blow things out of proportion, but it's fair to note that Butler has a player option at the end of the season that he'll likely opt out of. There's still plenty of time for Brown and company to get Butler more comfortable in the offense, but come July, Butler will have a decision to make. The Sixers can offer Butler a richer contract than any other team because of his Bird rights.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves with that before we've even reached the halfway point of the season.
The Sixers are set to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks Saturday night and Brown will assuredly be asked about the report pregame. As of now, Butler’s status for the game is unknown.
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