Less than two months after orchestrating a blockbuster trade which landed them star wing Jimmy Butler, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a precarious position.
Accustomed to typically being the primary option thanks to his previous two stints in Chicago and Minnesota, Butler has been forced to take somewhat of a backseat in Philly with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons also in the equation. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Butler has begun to challenge head coach Brett Brown about his role within the Sixers’ offense.
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big 3 hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.
Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and beyond normal player-coach discourse.
Despite the aggression portrayed by Jimmy Butler in that particular film session, Brown has reportedly told people within the organization that he had ‘no issues’ with the heated exchange.
Or perhaps this is more about a recurring theme in the career of Jimmy Butler. We’ve seen Butler first go through a not-so-amicable split with the Chicago Bulls then work his way out of Minnesota earlier this season when he had problems with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
That landed him in Philadelphia where he must now compete with two other full-blown stars in Simmons and Embiid for touches. This has created a complex hierarchy as the three continue working on acclimating their play styles with one another and meshing on the court.
Since Butler’s arrival in Philly, his numbers have dropped to the tune of 18 points per game in 21 outings with the club. He’s also averaging nearly two less field goal attempts per game with the Sixers as compared to the first ten games of his season with Minnesota.
While the offensive touches will limit Butler’s productivity, Philadelphia provides him with a legit shot at a title run. The trio of Simmons, Embiid and Butler has an incredible amount of talent that is capable of making a deep playoff run, but only if everyone buys in and all three are understanding of their roles within the team.