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#pounditSaturday, October 31, 2020

Did Jimmy Butler bid farewell to 76ers in Instagram post?

Jimmy Butler

A simple post by Jimmy Butler on Instagram Thursday night led to some panic among Philadelphia 76ers fans that he was saying farewell in case he does not sign with the team.

Butler posted a photo of himself in a 76ers jersey and had this caption: “to philly. and my teammates. THANK YOU.”

View this post on Instagram

to philly. and my teammates. THANK YOU.

A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on

Saying thank you is always nice, but the timing of the post is odd.

Butler has a $19.8 million player option for next season but will decline it to become a free agent. He wants a max contract and can get a greater one from Philadelphia (5 years, $188 million) than any other team (4 years, $141 million) due to them holding his Bird rights. He is confident that he will receive a max contract anywhere he goes.

Though Philadelphia only has $47.6 million in contract commitments for next season not including Butler, they need to build carefully. They have Ben Simmons who will need to be extended soon, and Joel Embiid locked up for two more years. Plus they acquired Tobias Harris in a trade, and he’s looking to cash in with a $100-plus million deal.

The possibility of Butler signing with Philly should not be counted out, but this post seems to be allowing for the possibility that he could leave. The 29-year-old averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game in 55 games with Philly this season. He helped them reach the second round of the playoffs, where they lost in Game 7 to the Toronto Raptors.

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