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May 17, 2019

Sixers fans freaked out by Jimmy Butler's vague 'thank you' to Philly

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The biggest question hanging over the Philadelphia 76ers' offseason is whether or not the team will be able to re-sign Jimmy Butler, whose playoff performance validated the trade that brought him here.

Butler will be a highly coveted free agent this summer, with expected suitors in Los Angeles, New York and Brooklyn, among other potential landing spots. 

The Sixers have the ability to offer Butler the most money on a max contract, but Butler has already indicated that he's got plenty in the bank. His role and the opportunity to win will likely be the determining factors, and the respect afforded by additional money will help. 

Late Thursday night, Butler took to Instagram to thank Philadelphia and his Sixers teammates. That's all he said, and sometimes these posts are interpreted as a sayonara, of sorts.

There's no reason not to think that Butler will take advantage of free agency and test the open market. There also are plenty of great reasons why he would see Philadelphia as a contender and a place where he can be the veteran centerpiece for years to come.

Some Sixers fans lost their nerve over Butler's message.

Ultimately, Jimmy Butler is going to do what he deems best for his family and his career. 

If you look at the way this past season unfolded, however, Butler staying in Philadelphia would make plenty of sense: He was given more control of the offense, bonded with his teammates, earned the trust and respect of his coach, and clearly won the hearts of the fanbase. 

Anyone else's pitch to Butler is going to have to overcome all of those advantages and an extra $50 million the Sixers can offer him. 

Sometimes "thank you" is as simple as being grateful for what you have — we hope.