BetOnline offers odds on Butler’s free agency outlook and the 76ers are heavily favored at -200. The Knicks are behind them at +600, followed by the Clippers, Lakers and Nets at +800. Here are the updated betting odds available:
Philadelphia 76ers -200
New York Knicks +600
Los Angeles Clippers +800
Los Angeles Lakers +800
Brooklyn Nets +800
Houston Rockets +900
Chicago Bulls +1000
Miami Heat +1200
The order of the teams on the list isn’t surprising at all, the 76ers would love to have Jimmy Butler back while the Knicks, Clippers, Lakers, Nets and Rockets all have either a need for a star, cap space or both.
Any team that signs Butler would take a big step towards contention short-term and Twitter rumors say that he just bought a $6 million house in Ambler, a borough in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which has 76ers fans coming up with all kinds of theories.
Last Friday a report from Natalie Egenolf of The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic stated that a contractor in the area saw the star guard in Horsham and that he’s said to be buying a home in Ambler. This information was verified by a UPS driver.
The Bulls, where Jimmy Butler spent the first six seasons of his NBA career, are an intriguing surprise team on the list. Butler averaged 15.6 points in 399 games with the Bulls over six seasons and he emerged as a star in his last three years in the Windy City, averaging 20.0 or more points on each of those campaigns.
During his exit interview after the Raptors eliminated the 76ers Butler told Derek Bodner of The Athletic:
“I haven’t thought about (free agency) too much… You always want to be able to win. I think that’s key for sure. You’re looking at coaches. You’re looking at the city. There’s a lot that goes in to it.”
Returning to Chicago isn’t likely but the Bulls shouldn’t be ruled out.
Jimmy Butler extending his stay in Philadelphia makes perfect sense. He began the season with the Timberwolves but he made significant contributions to the 76ers.
It may seem that Butler took a backseat to Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and fellow free agent Tobias Harris at times and his scoring average of 18.2 points in 55 regular season games (his lowest since 2013-14) is an example of this, but he was clutch when the team needed a closer and he also contributed with 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game and shot 46.1 percent from the field.
Butler was phenomenal in the playoffs, averaging 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals on 45.1 percent shooting in 35.1 minutes over 12 games and he was particularly effective in the second round against the Raptors, averaging 22.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists in seven games, adding to his free agency stock.