Philadelphia 76ers fans are still lamenting losing Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat after acquiring both Butler and Tobias Harris in the 2018-19 season. Butler torched the Sixers in these playoffs and nearly took the Heat to the NBA Finals again after doing so in 2020, while many view Harris as a disappointment after he got a five-year, $180 million deal in 2019. Butler even took a jab at the Sixers with a comment about Philly choosing Harris over him that year.

Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer now has a bit more information about that season and the circumstances surrounding both players. The Sixers acquired Butler first, and questions about his future with the franchise helped lead to them getting Harris ahead of the trade deadline:

And even though fans are still upset with Butler’s departure, everything wasn’t rosy during his brief tenure in Philly. Sources say the uncertainty surrounding Butler’s future that regular season was part of the reason they traded for Harris. Sources also said that the team was looking to land a solid player because of Butler’s wanting to get traded prior to the February deadline.

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While Butler nearly helped get the Sixers to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019, it has been known that there were rocky moments with him in Philly. This report even seems to suggest he was looking to get out ahead of the 2019 deadline. Nothing came to fruition, but he ultimately made his way to Miami that summer and has flourished as a member of the Heat.

Meanwhile, Harris and the Sixers still haven't made it past the second round. The trade for James Harden was supposed to make them a legit contender in 2021-22, but Harden's decline and Joel Embiid's injuries played a major factor in Miami beating them in the playoffs.  Harris was just okay in the series, struggling with his 3-point shooting and seeing his scoring dip compared to the first round.

There are questions about Harris' future in Philly. If the Sixers try to go hunting for another star, Harris would likely go in a trade because he's still a good player and is on a massive contract. Stay tuned.