Front office worried Jimmy Butler’s strong personality could clash with young core
The Philadelphia Sixers are among three teams reportedly interested in Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler along with the Miami Heat and the Houston Rockets. Out of the three, the Sixers are the only team that hasn’t made an offer — but that lack of aggression doesn’t come without some ulterior concerns.
Philly’s interest in Butler is often overstated, as the possibility intrigues the franchise, but not to the point of shaking things up and making a bold move to acquire him — at least not yet.
According to Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice, the Sixers have greater concerns than just tying up big long-term money to Butler and giving up assets to acquire him.
“Sources familiar with the situation insist the Sixers’ interest in Butler has been overstated throughout the process,” wrote Neubeck. “High-ranking members of the front office have noted Butler’s clashing with the young pieces surrounding him in Minnesota, primarily Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and remain wary of introducing Butler’s personality into a locker room and culture they have spent years building under head coach Brett Brown.”
Butler’s two-way style of play and his intensity are thought of as a natural fit in any roster, but it is his old-school approach and leadership style that could leave some non-veteran rosters skeptical of taking a swing for his services.
Towns and Wiggins are viewed as marshmallow-soft with Butler on the team, and who is to say even a big-bad 7-footer like Joel Embiid won’t be looked at that way with a respected veteran voice pointing out his flaws or lack of proper execution.
Besides Embiid, the Sixers have plenty of exciting prospects, including Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and this year’s rookie class — a little too much youth for a player of his caliber to tolerate.