Do you remember your high school days? Of course, you do, those were the glory days for most folks. Others flourished afterward. How about that person you crushed on? The most popular girl in high school? I remember those times like it was yesterday. All I ever wanted was her attention and affection but all she ever wanted was the jocks or the shallow overly good looking guys. Then there was the quiet girl, the one who wanted my attention, the girl who knew how to give me the future I so desperately craved. In the end, I ended up with her, someone with the smarts, the huddle, the drive I needed to grow. Someone that was worth my MAX affection. Get where I’m heading towards?
On behalf of me, I want to apologize for being fooled into thinking Jimmy Butler had your best interest at heart. I’m sorry that I thought he was here to be a contender and not a pretender. Most of all, I want to apologize for neglecting the one guy who wanted to be here. The one couldn’t flourish with Butler around, Tobias Harris. Forgive me? Ok great, enough with the small talk, let’s get to business.
The fact of the matter is that Jimmy knew all along he wanted out. He even revealed it back at the exit meetings with the media. With a deceiving grin, Butler told all of Philadelphia that he believes he would get a max wherever he went. For a player who loves playing dominos on Instagram and drinking wine in the finest of places, does he really fit here?
Many believed Ben took a step back, which he did. Tobias also saw a decline in his numbers. The front office knew it as well but was willing to gamble on bringing Butler back anyways. See, Butler has some Philly in him. He’s rugged on the court, he’s a pit bull in every sense of his game but have you ever seen what happens when you place an untamed beast in a room with others beasts? It grows to be rabid because of how bad it wants to be top dog. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Butler, I loved his time here in Philly and thought he was necessary for this season.
But a part of me always felt a bit insecure when it came to offering him the max. What he brings to the team on the court shows that he’s worth the max BUT if he doesn’t want to be here then he’s not worth your max Philadelphia. I mean are the Sixers better without or better off with Jimmy Butler. The Heat seem to think he’s the second coming of Dwayne Wade. So what now?
Well now, the team is actually not only better off but better than they were with Jimmy Butler. Yea I said it! Think about it. We have two huge foundations with Ben Simmons and Joel Embid. Forget the whole Ben can’t shoot thing, let him show you what he can or can’t do this season. The Sixers finessed the Heat into giving them Josh Richardson who is not only a younger Butler but has a better motor, he’s only 25! Elton brand even made sure that he beefed up the frontcourt by adding Al Horford to the mix along with Kyle O’Quinn. Let’s not forget that they re-signed Tobias Harris to the money he will earn when he steps into the Wells Fargo Center this season. Last but not least, Philly, they re-signed Mike Scott. Probably a very underrated signing. The Hive lives on!
Now all of this happened while Jimmy was sipping on wine and still shuffling his dominoes…
Ok back from commercial break.
The best part of all this is that the Sixers are finally not in the process. They have grown from rebuilders to contenders. Even if Kawhi doesn’t leave the Raptors, this team still feels like the favorites to win the East. How are you feeling now Philly???
Now as I’m writing this, the Sixers still have about $7.7 million in cap space. They can gain a few more if they move on from Jonah Bolden and renounce a few of the players. It could possibly end up being enough to bring in a good shooter. Also, it looks like the front office is working on extending Ben Simmons before the season, so that’s a positive sign for the team. Until then, this your team now Philly. They’re gritty on defense, funny on Twitter and most of all they want to be here.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports