Jimmy Butler was at his best on Monday night, and Joel Embiid was admiring from afar.
Butler scored a playoff career-high 40 points in Game 1 of the Heat’s second-round series against the Bucks, a 115-104 Miami win.
Embiid, it seemed, was thinking about what might have been if the Sixers had re-signed Butler.
He was recently quite candid in saying he wished things had gone differently last offseason on The Old Man & The Three Podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter.
"The way things happened last summer, it was just so frustrating,” Embiid said, “so I was kind of mad at the whole world and I was just like, ‘Eh, whatever. I’m just coming to work and I’m going to do my best,’ but I wasn’t playing up to my standards.”
With Ben Simmons sidelined by a left knee injury and Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson the main supporting pieces around Embiid, the Sixers were swept by the Celtics in the first round.
A little after his initial tweet, Embiid left no doubt who he was thinking about.
Embiid discussed his future following the Sixers’ Game 4 loss to Boston.
“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I always say that I want to end my career here. If it happens, good. If it doesn’t happen, well, you move on and all that stuff. But I’m here and I’m going to still try to do my best to bring a championship back to Philly. We’ve got a lot of great talent on the team — Ben, Tobias, Al, Shake (Milton), Matisse (Thybulle). Alec (Burks) proved to be a big piece off the bench, Furkan (Korkmaz). We’ve got a bunch of great players, you’ve just gotta find a way to make it work. I think we can. Like I said, I’ve just gotta go about it and just do my job.”
Sixers general manager Elton Brand said last Tuesday that he’s not looking to trade Simmons or Embiid and will talk with the two about how to best complement them.