Jimmy Butler reportedly is already in a complicated situation with the 76ers.
There reportedly is some concern about Butler’s long-term fit within the organization as he has adjusted slowly to his new team.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified league sources, the 29-year-old forward has “aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense.”
Reporting with @ramonashelburne: Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on All-Star’s role in 76ers offense, complicating an already-tenuous chemistry among team’s Big 3 hierarchy. Story on ESPN. https://t.co/DYqEAZNzM1
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 4, 2019
The report adds Butler has been vocal about his disagreement with Brown’s offensive system, including a recent film session in Portland many considered to be “disrespectful” and not normal for a player-coach relationship.
However, Brown told people within the organization he didn’t have any issues with the exchange, and it’s simply part of the relationship he has developed with Butler, ESPN reported.
Additionally, there is some concern about Butler’s long-term viability and fit within the organization as he has adjusted slowly to his new team, the report says. The franchise, however, is committed to making the situation work for Butler and the rest of the organization, including helping Butler develop strong relationships with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
“We’re coming together,” Brown said after Monday’s victory over the Clippers. “You don’t just click your heels and throw Jimmy Butler in and everybody’s going to be playing the same way and style. It (doesn’t) work like that. So, my job is to grow a team. Ben and Jo, Jo and Jimmy, go anywhere you want. Those four are huge. Playing together is what’s always, by a long shot, on my mind.”
The 76ers have looked different since acquiring Butler — who can become a free agent this summer — in a trade with the Timberwolves. Philadelphia is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 25-14 record, and it has gone 14-8 since Butler arrived in November. Butler is averaging 18 points with 4.7 rebounds through 21 games with the Sixers.