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Clippers not expected to pursue Jimmy Butler in free agency

Jimmy Butler, Sixers

The LA Clippers shocked the league when they traded Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. The move appeared to be with the offseason in mind, as they follow in the footsteps of the New York Knicks in positioning themselves to take a swing at two max-level players this summer.

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported, however, that Sixers star Jimmy Butler was not in the sights of the Clippers in free agency.

According to the report, the Clippers will be going after a pairing of Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant as their primary goal for the offseason. Butler had recently been of interest to the team, but with him settling into his role with the Sixers and growing speculations about Kevin Durant leaving the Golden State Warriors, it seems they have adjusted their focus.

Leonard has been a target all season for LA, who has had personnel present at many of Leonard’s games with the Toronto Raptors. Durant has been heavily linked to the Knicks, but if he wishes to stay on the West Coast, the Clippers make the most sense, as it would be unlikely that he wants to pair up with LeBron James and the Lakers.

In addition to cap space, they also have multiple first round picks, including the Miami Heat’s 2021 unprotected first round pick and a nice selection of young players like Landry Shamet and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Those assets can be used to add more talent around star signings in the summer, though Amick did mention that the Clippers pulling off a deal for Anthony Davis is unlikely.