Philadelphia 76ers: Jimmy Butler plans to sign with L.A. Lakers in offseason

Rumor has it that Philadelphia 76ers wing Jimmy Butler plans to bolt for Hollywood next summer.

Jimmy Butler‘s time with the Philadelphia 76ers might be short-lived. Speculation is rising that the four-time All-Star plans to join LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers next summer, forming one of the NBA’s best two-man duos. There’s some concern Butler might sit out in the playoffs.

Despite moderate struggles, Butler is averaging 19.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists on the season. His defense, while not elite, continues to anchor the Sixers’ starting five alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. He’s one of the NBA’s best closers, to boot.

The Sixers took a considerable risk when trading for Butler in November, knowing his volatile attitude and expiring contract could produce undesirable results. Still, Elton Brand traded away two valuable contributors — Robert Covington and Dario Saric — in exchange for the embattled star.

Losing Butler will be a tough blow for Will Smith and the Sixers’ ownership group.

With the Lakers boasting a clear path to another max contract slot, it’s not difficult for Magic Johnson to put together the resources necessary to obtain Butler’s services. Johnson, an old-school player and executive, might appreciate Butler’s hardcore mentality and defensive effort.

In adding Butler, the Lakers would boast two high-level creators without the requisite shooting around them. One would imagine, after such a disappointing 2018-19 campaign, Magic, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office would attempt to add shooting around their new dyad. That could place J.J. Redick, another Sixers starter, on the radar.

Given the rumors of dissonance in the locker room and Jimmy’s unique personality, it should come as little surprise that the 29-year-old is ready to leave Philadelphia. It was always a high-risk, high-reward trade. A leap of faith for Elton Brand, a new GM looking to make an immediate splash.

Also, happy Aprils Fools! Thanks for reading, you know, the entire article.

There’s no indication that Jimmy is unhappy in Philadelphia nor does the Lakers connection carry much weight at this point. The Sixers have maintained their desire to re-sign Butler next summer.