Anthony Davis recently got traded to the Lakers in a blockbuster deal that sent the entire basketball world into a frenzy. Due to AD being traded so early, the Lakers might have hurt themselves in regards to cap space with free agency looming around the corner.
This could be a huge break in the Sixers’ start to free agency. By the Lakers finalizing the trade sooner, they lost out on potential cap space to bring in a 3rd max contract player. That could be just what the Sixers need to get a head start in free agency, starting with resigning veteran star Jimmy Butler.
As expected Jimmy turned down his player option and opted to enter free agency. Everybody who does not follow the Sixers thinks this is the worst possible scenario for Philly fans. However, everybody who follows the Sixers closely knows that this was the plan all along and not to worry. The Sixers are the team who can pay him the most. Butler clearly wants to get paid while playing for a winning team. Luckily for Jimmy, Philly is the perfect formula. The Sixers can offer him 190 million over 5 years. Perhaps being the best team Jimmy has played on in his career, this move by the Lakers just made the Sixers even more enticing for the veteran star.
Of course, there is speculation that Jimmy may sign with the Clippers or the Lakers. But what fun is the NBA if LA isn’t tossed around in the free agency equation? Jimmy was found liking a photo of LeBron and AD on Instagram and that is just what was needed to spark a social media riot between fanbases.
This is where it gets interesting. The Lakers made a move on AD so early into the offseason, they cannot offer the same amount of money as the Sixers without making major roster adjustments and reloading almost the entire team. With that being said, it is expected that LeBron will build a typical Lebron James team. That means he gets 1-2 stars and a ton of above-mid-tier veterans with playoff experience to sign for cheap. Given his track record, LeBron can easily carry a team like that to the playoffs.
When looking at it from a Philly perspective, however, this opened up huge opportunities for the Sixers to get the offseason depth they so desperately need.
The Lakers can only offer, at this point, 23M to a player that is eligible for a max.
The bright side to that is that you get to play with LeBron and AD and for one of the most decorated franchises in sports history. The bad part about it for LAL is that a player worthy of a max contract will have to take a major discount to have the pleasure of playing beside LeBron. Obviously, Jimmy is not going to take a pay cut because he knows his worth. The best part about that for Sixers fans is that Jimmy would need to take 8M less to play with the Lakers. This is why the AD deal helps the Sixers potentially secure the coveted free agent.
Everybody in the league knows when James gets another all-star, especially of this caliber, what it means for the rest of the league. It puts him in contention for yet other finals run.
With this being said, the combination of Jimmy wanting to win while getting the best contract possible, all signs point towards Philly resigning their playoff leader to the “big bucks” at 6pm sharp on June 30th. Perhaps this time around, Philly can run it back, pick up where they left off, and finally be the kings of the East.