NBA

Sixers star opts out of NBA contract

Jimmy Butler has reportedly informed the Philadelphia 76ers he will opt out of the final year of his contract to enter free-agency this off-season in a bid to chase a potential $190 million monster deal.

In a move the entire league saw coming, Butler will join the free agency frenzy coming in July where he will be joined by fellow superstars Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.

Butler was always expected to exercise the contract option in his favour — which the Philadelphia 76ers were fully aware of when the traded for him this season.

Butler’s signature — joined by the acquisition of star forward Tobias Harris — signalled the Philadelphia franchise’s intent to chase a championship this season and the team ultimately came up agonisingly short in the second round of the playoffs against the eventual champions Toronto.

Now the team gets to find out if the draft assets it traded away for Butler and Harris were worth it.

Butler’s existing deal would have seen the former Milwaukee star earn a reported $US19.8 million next season — but the Sixers can now offer him a max contract extension worth up to $US190 million over five years.

The issue for the Sixers is that other teams will also come hard for Butler.

Yahoo Sports reports the Los Angeles Lakers have genuine interest in adding Butler to a potential superteam alongside LeBron James. The Lakers have also made no secret of their pursuit of former Pelicans All Star Anthony Davis.

The gang could be broken up.Source:AFP

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant’s father Mychal Thompson has suggested he expects his son to remain with the Warriors this off-season, despite being the biggest star on the open market.

Durant’s Achilles injury has swung the battle back in favour of Golden State, despite the links between Durant and the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

ESPN reports that Thompson overheard a Facetime conversation between Durant and injured Warriors star Klay Thompson where the two injured superstars declared they both have “unfinished business” with the Warriors.

Both Durant and Thompson are free agents this off-season.

“I heard them talking,” Thompson told ESPN regarding the conversation.

“But I don’t think they’d want me to divulge it.”

“They were encouraging each other to come back strong,” he added.

“They got unfinished business.”

Is that “unfinished business” meant for Golden State in 2020-21? Both players could miss next season.

The call came shortly after the Warriors’ season ended with a 114-110 loss to the Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

The Knicks still plan to chase Durant despite him being out for 2019-’20 season, but the Warriors superstar could feel it is best to rehab in a more stress-free environment and not make the drastic change to the Knicks.

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