RUMOR: There are some concerns about Jimmy Butler’s long-term viability and fit in Philly
Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons make up a formidable big three. But it’s not clear whether or not Philly will bring back Butler going forward per ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne:
“While a source close to Butler contends that his intense, direct style can come off as combative as he’s trying to make clear his viewpoints, Butler’s sluggish assimilation into the Sixers environment is causing some concern about his long-term viability and fit with the organization, league sources said. Nevertheless, the franchise’s full focus and resources remain on making this new partnership work this season and beyond.”
Of course, it isn’t always easy to incorporate a ball-dominant star into the offense, especially when the star is acquired via mid-season trade. These things take time before they fully coalesce and Butler is clearly growing frustrated with the situation.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Butler is doomed to fail in Philadelphia, but it puts a damper on the Sixers’ successful season up to this point. Philly is 25-14 and just 2.5 games back from first place in the Eastern Conference. They are locks to make the playoffs and they should have an excellent chance to advance.
They still have half the season to work out their offensive struggles. If they have success in the playoffs, the concerns about Butler’s long-term fit in Philly could be tossed to the wayside. Winning cures everything.