by: MATTHEW EMERY
It had to happen on a Saturday afternoon. A WOJ bomb dropped exclaiming that Jimmy Butler had been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
In sum, the 76ers traded forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton. With that, the saga has finally ended in Minnesota. It was fun while it lasted and it gave fans something to be excited about in August. I think we all knew that the story would end this way at some point, but I am not sure many people thought he would be traded to this team. The question is, what contract options does Butler have now to stay with the 76ers?
Well, assuming that Jimmy Butler will not exercise his player option for the 2019-2020 season, Butler can sign a new contract with the 76ers next summer worth 30% of the cap for five seasons. The max value of the contract would be $189 million through five seasons (assuming the cap is set at $109 million next season). If he signs a max contract elsewhere it would be for approximately $141 million through four seasons. Players get more lucrative and long term contracts when they sign with the team that owns their bird rights, which explains why he would receive less elsewhere.
In the alternative, Butler could sign an extension with the 76ers, one that starts in the 2019-2020 season (his player option would be terminated). The team could sign Butler to a four-year extension (until the end of the 2022-2023 season) worth about $101 million. However, the team cannot sign Butler to this extension until May 10, 2019. This is because Article VII, Section, 8(f) of the CBA, prevents the 76ers from signing him to a four-year extension within six months of the date of he was acquired in the trade. Until such time, the CBA only allows the 76ers to offer Butler a contract extension for three seasons (until the end of the 2021-2022 season) worth approximately $70 million. Note June 30, 2019 is the last day Butler can sign an extension. However, that could change if he exercises his player option for the 2019-2020 season, but that seems highly unlikely.