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Jimmy Butler is a basketball elemental, dropping into teams to disrupt locker rooms and shout at anyone who brings less than their A-game. All reports paint a picture of Butler as a ruthless teammate, a barking mad baller who can tear a team apart with the sheer strength of his conviction that they can all be better. If you're going to be that fractious, you have to be good, and thankfully Jimmy Buckets is really, really good.
Butler just capped a tumultuous season where he was traded from the Timberwolves after a legendary practice to quarrel with coaches and teammates in Philly. The short-term 76ers star is on the market this offseason and it has more than a few front offices wondering if he's worth reaping the whirlwind.
See below for the latest rumors and reports on Jimmy Butler's free agency.
6/14/19 5:15 p.m. ET: Jimmy Butler is expected to turn down his option with the 76ers to hit the open market. He said in an exit interview that he planned to seek a max contract.
“Knock on wood, I will get a max contract no matter where I go,” Butler said. “You always want to be able to win. I think that’s key, for sure. You’re looking at coaches, you’re looking at the city. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
6/15/19 7:42 p.m. ET: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that the Lakers are looking at Butler to fill out their team alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Unnamed sources who spoke to Haynes said that the team is targeting Butler and Charlotte's Kemba Walker.
6/17/19 10:24 a.m. ET: Stephen A. Smith believes that Jimmy Butler is talking to the Houston Rockets. The ESPN analyst said that he's heard whispers of Butler chopping it up with James Harden while he plans his next move.
6/19/19 10:00 a.m. ET: The Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith reports that the Rockets will "be aggressive in their pursuit" of Jimmy Butler.
6/21/19 9:00 a.m. ET: Bleacher Report's Howard Beck claims that the Sixers are in threat of losing both Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler to free agency due to locker room tensions.
"I have heard some very strong rumblings this week that the Sixers are gonna lose one—and maybe even both—of Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler," Beck said on his Full 48 Podcast. "Take it with all due grains of salt, we’re talking about this still on June 21, but I would not be surprised if Jimmy Butler and/or Tobias Harris go elsewhere. The Sixers just have some strange dynamics with that group."
6/25/19 8:00 p.m. ET: ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Houston Rockets will attempt to recruit Butler. "Once free agency starts on Sunday, the Houston Rockets are planning to recruit Jimmy Butler to push the Philadelphia 76ers for a sign-and-trade deal that would allow the All-Star forward to join James Harden and Chris Paul, league sources tell ESPN," Wojnarowski wrote.
He continued: "The Rockets don't have the salary-cap space to sign Butler, so they'd need the threat of the Sixers losing him for nothing to a team with the available room to motivate Philadelphia into a trade.
6/30/19 12:00 a.m. ET: The Miami Heat have emerged as a front runner to land Butler. It is reported that they are discussing several sign and trade scenarios with the Sixers similar to the packages offered by Houston.
6/30/19 8:00 p.m. ET: The Heat and Sixers agree to a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler that would send Josh Richardson and other assets to Philly. Yet, this deal has yet to be finalized because of complications with the third-party team, the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs reportedly want Miami's Goran Dragic but can't take on the contract.
7/1/19 12:00 a.m. ET: The Heat close on a deal to send Kelly Olynyk and Derrick Jones to Dallas and Richardson to Philly in exchange for Jimmy Butler and other assets. Butler is expected to sign a 4-year $142 million deal with the Heat.