Since trading for Jimmy Butler early in the season, there has always been one question circled around him, is he worth a max contract? Throughout the regular season, opinions on this may have been split. The deciding factor of this whole debate always came down to how he played on the biggest stage and “playoff Jimmy” is putting up a very good case as to why he should be offered a max contract this summer.
Through the Sixers nine playoff games, Jimmy Butler is currently averaging 18.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.4 SPG. He has also scored at least 20 points in the last three games, and has at least one 30 point game in each of the Sixers’ playoff series so far. Not to mention his performance in Game 3 of the current series against the Raptors where he finished a rebound and assist shy of a triple-double. He is affecting the game in multiple ways on a nightly basis and does not seem to be scared of the moment.
Along with his play on the court, he is also showing that he can be a vocal leader for this young team. In the clip above, you see Butler instructing Embiid to shoot threes when he has the open shot. In the end of the clip, you also see Butler go to Joel on the bench and tell him “take us home.” For someone who has been ridiculed for being a locker room cancer, it seems to be the complete opposite with his new Sixers teammates.
Between his proven play in the postseason and ability to step up and be a vocal leader to his younger teammates, the decision is going to be tough on what to do with Butler amid his looming free agency. Butler is currently 29 years old, and a max contract would carry him to his age 33-34 season. It’s not the most ideal situation, but this Sixers team has something special with this group, and it would be a shame to see them split without getting to play an extended period of time together. It is also hard to say that after his postseason performance that Jimmy Butler is not worth the max deal.