Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid hinted at a possible reunion with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler — but it wouldn’t be in Philadelphia.
The majority of the NBA started their offseason early, watching the playoffs from home as they await opportunity in October.
Plenty of these players are tweeting observations of what they’re seeing in the playoffs, such as the swift removal of Chris Paul III from many Top 5 point guard lists after the Phoenix Suns had a meltdown.
But one particular player is watching the Miami Heat closely, seeing its playoff star Jimmy Butler shine brighter than anyone else this postseason. And this player just might be having second thoughts about letting Butler go, because it’s none other than 76ers centerpiece Joel Embiid.
All Embiid said is that “Miami needs another star”, but considering Embiid’s friendship with Butler and his own celestial status, it could be a sign that Embiid is contemplating a move down south.
Joel Embiid thinks Miami needs a star alongside Jimmy Butler
During the 2018-19 season, Embiid and Butler were teammates, but it was in Philadelphia, not Miami.
Rather than pushing to keep Butler, the 76ers declined to renew his contract, instead paying Tobias Harris $180 million rather than retain Butler. Butler had quite a laugh over that one during the 76ers-Heat series.
During the series, both Butler and Embiid made it clear that there was not only mutual respect, but a mutual wish that the two still played together.
“I love him,” Butler told reporters. “I’m proud of him. Yes, yes, yes, I still wish I was on his team. I definitely love the Miami Heat though, I’m glad that I’m here, but I’ve got so much respect and love for Joel Embiid.”
“I won’t sit here and say I didn’t wish he was my teammate,” Embiid said in a postgame press conference. “Still don’t know how we let him go, but I wish I could have gone to battle with him still.”
All of this context creates questions as to which “star” needs to make a trip to Miami: it very well could be Embiid looking for a championship.