The Philadelphia 76ers seemingly wanted to keep Jimmy Butler when he became a free agent last year, but things went sour between Butler and the organization at some point.
Butler alluded to a behind-the-scenes issue with the Sixers that helped lead him to joining the Miami Heat this past offseason, but wouldn’t go into detail.
“Stuff just don’t work out. Nobody knows what really went on in Philly and we’re going to leave it that way,” Butler told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “But it was a great opportunity for me.
“Just go with your gut. You’re not dumb. All of that will come out whenever it’s time. Right now is not the time. I’m locked in with this. I’m happy, man. I’m smiling and my guys want me to be here, my organization wants me to be here, I want to be here and we’re going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off. I’m not saying Philly wasn’t great, man. We had some really good players. I talk to Joel [Embiid] damn near every f—–g day. It’s a brotherhood, man. I love that guy. I’m going to always have his back and I know he’ll always have mine.”
It’s anyone’s guess what the issue was. One thing reported at the time was that Butler wanted a five-year max and the Sixers didn’t even come close to offering it, so it could be as simple as that. Butler wants to be respected and can be a bit touchy over perceived slights, so a lot of things could have happened behind the scenes to rub the forward the wrong way.