Jimmy Butler free agency rumors: All-Star to decline player option, per report; Sixers and Lakers interested in signing him

Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler will not opt into his $19.8 million player option for the 2019-20 NBA season, according to a report from Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes

This news isn't especially surprising, as Butler, 29, stands to sign a new, long-term and more lucrative deal in free agency. As a two-way play-maker with ample experience, Butler is expected to be one of the most sought after free agents on the market. The Sixers can offer Butler the most money on a new deal, as they can offer up to $188 million over five years. Other organizations can offer Butler a maximum of $141 million over four years.  

The Sixers are expected to offer Butler a max contract, while the Los Angeles Lakers also have a genuine interest in pairing Butler with LeBron James, according to Haynes. 

The money that is ultimately offered to him will obviously be a factor for Butler, but it isn't the only one he will take into consideration when making his decision. 

"Knock on wood, I will get a max contract no matter where I go," Butler stated at his exit interview with the Sixers last month. "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."  

Butler is coming off of a solid season with the Sixers in which he proved to be able to coexist with their two young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. During the 55 regular season games that he played with the Sixers, Butler averaged 18.2 points. 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.8 steals in 33.2 minutes of action per game. 

In 12 postseason games, Butler raised his game across the board as his numbers rose to 19.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game. 

Michael Kaskey-Blomain covers the NBA for CBS Sports. He has covered the league in some capacity since 2009 for a variety of outlets including Philly.com, ESPN 97.3, and 247 Sports. Michael hails from... Full Bio

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