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Jimmy Butler To Turn Down 2019-20 Player Option With Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler will turn down his 2019-20 player option, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports. As expected, Butler will hit unrestricted free agency this summer.

By turning down his $19.8 million player option, Butler could be in line for a new max contract with a substantial raise in 2019-20, whether he seeks that in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

Should he stay pat in Philly, he could earn just shy of $190 million over the course of five years. If Butler opts to sign with another team, he could earn north of $140 million over the course of four seasons.

Butler averaged 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in 2018-19, a campaign he split between the Timberwolves and Sixers.

The 29-year-old settled in Philadelphia mid-season and helped Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons seriously challenge the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semis.

With Butler’s 2019-20 deal off their books, the Sixers have just four players on guaranteed deals for next season. That won’t last once free agency begins in July. Philadelphia could retain Butler with plenty of room to spare.

In addition to Butler, the Sixers will need to make decisions on Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, both of whom will become unrestricted free agents come July 1.

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Kyrie Irving Hasn’t Ruled Out Re-Signing With Celtics

Kyrie Irving reportedly still has not ruled out re-signing with the Celtics as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Irving, 27, is opting out of the final year (and $21.3 million) of his current deal and parted ways with his agent.

Boston, meanwhile, continues to pursue a blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis.

Per The Boston Herald:

The Celtics have known from the start that the All-Star point guard will not be accepting the $21,329,752 for next season and will look to sign a longer term deal. The club is not waiting on the deadline, in that Irving does not have to opt out; the final year on the contract is removed if he does nothing.

According to multiple league sources, Irving still has not removed the Celtics from consideration as he contemplates where to sign as a free agent, though the assumption around the NBA was he was looking to go elsewhere to join up with another marquee free agent. That concept was placed in some measure of doubt when Kevin Durant — the most prominent of the potential 2019 free agents — suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night.

For example, knowing what Irving will do could impact what the Celtics offer for Davis.

At this point, however, sources continue to indicate the club is intent on trying to secure him no matter what else transpires — and regardless of statements that, if acquired, Davis will not re-sign with the Celtics when he can become a free agent in 2020, a sentiment most recently expressed in comments by his agent to Sports Illustrated.

Related Danny Ainge Will ‘Never Regret’ Trading for Kyrie Irving

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