FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics – Basketball – Preliminary – Men’s Preliminary Round Group A China v USA – Carioca Arena 1 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 06/08/2016. Jimmy Butler (USA) of the USA in action. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Philadelphia 76ers forward Jimmy Butler intends to test free agency by opting out of a $19.8 million player option, according to a report from Yahoo Sports, citing NBA sources.
The Sixers were prepared for Butler’s decision and “remain adamant” about keeping the 29-year-old with the team, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes.
Philadelphia acquired Butler in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves early last season. The eight-year pro went on to average 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 55 games with the Sixers.
Butler will be one of the top free agents on the market, and the Los Angeles Lakers have “genuine interest” in signing Butler, sources told Yahoo.
Philadelphia is trying to retain its veteran production around youngsters Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. In addition to Butler likely hitting the market, another 76ers’ trade addition from last season, Tobias Harris, is a free agent.
Butler has career averages of 16.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.
—Field Level Media
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