Report: 76ers prepared to swoop in with max extension offer to Jimmy Butler

If the Miami Heat don't offer Jimmy Butler a max extension, the Philadelphia 76ers will, according to a report.
Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers - Play-In Tournament
Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers - Play-In Tournament / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Miami Heat could face pressure from one of its biggest Eastern Conference rivals to extend a maximum contract extension to Jimmy Butler this summer. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the Philadelphia 76ers are “closely monitoring” Butler’s situation in Miami and view him “as a fallback option if they are unable to sign Paul George in free agency.”

“According to sources, the Sixers are prepared to give Butler a maximum-salary extension if things align and he forces a trade out of Miami,” Pompey reports.

Butler is under contract for $48.8 million for the 2024-25 season and has a player option for $52.2 million for the 2025-26 season. Butler, who turns 35 in September, is eligible for a two-year extension worth $113 million, or an average of $56.5 million, that would keep him under contract through the 2026-27 season.

If the Miami Heat don't offer Jimmy Butler a max extension, the Philadelphia 76ers will, according to a report.

The Heat are not in a hurry to offer Butler that extension. Pat Riley during his end-of-season press conference said that he wants to see Butler be more available before discussing a new contract. Technically, the Heat and Butler don’t have to agree on a new contract for at least another year.

“That’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless you have somebody who’s going to be there and available every single night,” Riley said.

But Butler will reportedly seek that contract and secure his NBA future this summer. He can’t be blamed. Neither can the Heat for their stance after Butler appeared in just 60 games last season and missed the playoffs with a sprained MCL.

The 76ers, meanwhile, can create more than $65 million in cap space this summer. They are expected to pursue Paul George, who will be a free agent if he does to resign with the LA Clippers. 76ers president Daryl Morey wants to add a star-level wing to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey.

If George does re-sign, the Sixers could make it known to Butler and his representation that they would be willing to pay him the maximum contract extension. If the Heat decline to match that offer, Butler could ask for a trade back to Philadelphia, where he played for the majority of the 2018-19 season before getting traded to the Heat.

The 76ers have to be considered a real threat. They are motivated and have the resources. They can absorb Butler’s salary into cap space and send only draft capital back, which could be helpful if the Heat need to rebuild in the wake of Butler’s departure or use to pursue a new star partner for Bam Adebayo.