Jimmy Butler is about to become one of the most highly sought after free agents in the open market, but teams probably should know how long he plans on sticking around in the NBA.
The Philadelphia 76ers star can opt-out of his contract after this season, and it’s a near-certainty he will. He could fetch a five-year deal by going back to Philly, but is that what the 29-year-old will go for?
While going for the lengthiest contract seems reasonable, Butler actually doesn’t plan on playing deep into his 30s. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, Butler revealed when he thinks he’ll hang his sneakers up.
“I don’t plan on playing this game when I’m 35 years old,” Butler told Pompey.
“That’s between me and whatever I tell myself later on,” Butler said of how many more years he plans on playing. “But, I’m telling you right now, 35, I’m trying to be done before then.”
While Butler — who will turn 30 before next season begins — is an exceptional talent, you certainly can’t blame him for being forward-thinking and wanting to protect his body for the rest of his life.
Now the question is: how will this impact Butler’s looming free agency? He easily could sign a four-year deal at the max rate and be done before his target date, but will teams be skeptical of committing to him if he thinks he’ll call it quits sooner rather than later? Possibly, but Butler certainly has the skills that would make him worth the risk.
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