Report: Rival teams expect Sixers to attempt reunion with star
Philadelphia 76ers resident of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Rival teams expect Sixers to attempt reunion with star

With a projected $62 million in cap space, the 76ers are set to go star-hunting this summer. However, if they strike out in their pursuit of Paul George, Klay Thompson or any of the stars hitting the market, the Daryl Morey-led front office could look to trade for a big fish.

According to insider Marc Stein, several rival teams expect Philadelphia to call Miami about a potential trade for Jimmy Butler, who previously played for the Sixers in the 2018-19 season.

"More than one rival team out there has likewise wondered whether Philadelphia, in the wake of its first-round exit, will mount a trade run at Butler to reacquire Joel Embiid's close friend if the 76ers are unsuccessful in using their projected $50-plus million in salary cap space to acquire presumed top target Paul George," Stein reported via his Substack on Sunday.

The rumors of a Butler-Sixers reunion gathered steam last week after The Athletic's David Aldridge reported that Butler's time in Miami could be "nearing a tipping point" following the Heat's first-round playoff exit. Aldridge added that he heard murmurs of Heat and Butler parting ways due to the latter's intention of doing "things his way" and the Heat not acquiescing to "individualism." 

Shortly before The Athletic's report, the Miami Herald noted that Butler is seeking a two-year max contract extension from the Heaty this offseason, which the franchise is reluctant to agree to.

If a Butler-Sixers reunion comes to fruition, it would surely get Embiid smiling from ear to ear. A few years ago, the star big man questioned his front office's decision to move on from Butler as he spoke glowingly of their brief time together as teammates. 

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