The Sixers have been rumored to be interested in trading for former Sixer Jimmy Butler should he want to leave the Miami Heat.
Butler’s departure from Philly back in 2019 is arguably one of the biggest what-ifs in Sixers’ history.

Butler’s return has pros and cons, such as the cost of bringing him here.

But does a reunion with Butler make sense for the Sixers?


Pros

Playoff Jimmy is a real thing

; we should know that. Butler constantly rises to the challenge in the brightest lights. Since he departed from Philadelphia, he has led Miami to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of his five seasons, two of which resulted in Finals appearances. If the Sixers are looking for a wing who has had success in the playoffs, look no further.

But, of course, we’re going to question the fit.

Butler, while being on the older side, is still a great defender and averages 20 points per game. He would bring the Sixers an additional ball handler and would complement Maxey’s game really well. Also, let’s not forget how lethal the Embiid-Butler pick-and-roll was, and Joel has enhanced his pick-and-pop game since. He would make things easier for Embiid and Maxey and vice versa. The fit is there as Butler checks off a lot of the boxes the Sixers need from a third guy.

Chemistry matters in the NBA. Joel Embiid has been confused for five years as to why the Sixers ever let Butler go. The two have kept a great relationship and were quite the duo to watch in 2018-19. Embiid has great chemistry with Tyrese Maxey, and adding Butler would only make the two of them better. Joel was always genuinely happy when he was playing with Butler, which is massive when it comes to trying to add a third star to a team.


Cons

Unfortunately, Butler has had injury issues in the past few seasons. He was unable to play in the 2024 playoffs due to an MCL sprain. Butler will be 35 before next season and will make $48 million while also looking for more money in an extension. Throwing everything you have at a 35-year-old who’s been injured quite a bit recently when your main star is also getting up there in age and injured frequently doesn’t sound too smart. Unless things miraculously change, the Sixers may have a better chance going forward with someone younger.

With the new CBA rules, taking on Butler’s contract would greatly limit the Sixers’ ability to make other moves. Embiid’s supermax plus Butler’s max extension plus Maxey’s future super extension really limits who they could bring in to build around them. This big three could face some trouble real quick if they have no reliable bench pieces around them.


Potential Trade Outlook + Logistics

The Sixers have assets and draft picks to move, but the Heat would want more. This could possibly turn into a three-team trade, as Miami would want a championship piece in return that the Sixers can’t offer.

Besides, if Butler is looking to leave the Heat it’s because he’s getting another extension from a team that’s willing to take care of him long-term.


The last thing the Sixers need is to waste another year of Embiid’s prime by not being able to show up in the big moments. So why not put the ball in the hands of one of the most clutch playoff performers?
Also, wouldn’t we all like to see redemption for what could’ve been?

PHOTO: Getty Images

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