Jimmy Butler believes Joel Embiid can lead Sixers to championship
Prior to the slew of offseason moves made by the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the biggest talking points was whether or not they would bring Jimmy Butler back on a long-term deal. The four-time All-Star had played a large role in their playoff run and the Sixers front office, at the time, was reportedly planning to bring both Butler and Tobias Harris back to Philadelphia.
Things didn't quite turn out that way and Butler ended up going to the Miami Heat in sign-and-trade while the Sixers acquired Josh Richardson, signed Al Horford inked Tobias Harris to a max contract.
Although Butler is gone, he remains a topic among the fans in Philadelphia after he claimed that the most important thing to him was winning in his introductory press conference with the Sixers back in November. Many believe that Philadelphia gave him the best opportunity to do that, but instead he goes to South Beach to continue his career.
Despite the fans thoughts on Butler, he still has a great relationship with Joel Embiid. In a recent interview with The Jump on ESPN, Embiid was asked specifically about Butler's departure and how it affected him personally.
"It was a big loss. Me and him...it got to the point where we were really close," Embiild told Rachel Nichols. "We're still really close. We talk a lot and that's my guy. That's my brother forever. I wish he was on the team, because I feel like the relationship that I built with him could've gone a long way."
In addition to it affecting him on a personal level, Embiid knows that Butler's absence means that he and his teammates need to step up in clutch moments.
"When it was the fourth quarter, we knew the ball was gonna be in either me or Jimmy's hands. I knew that I could count on him too, so this year it kind of changes around. Now other guys gotta step up and I gotta do more."
Butler echoed Embiid's sentiment in an interview with NBA.com and went on to say that Joel has the ability to do great things for the Sixers.
"Jo is an incredible player, a great human being. I love that guy," said Butler. "I think the world should know that, he should know that, you should know that. I just tell him 'continue to dominate, because that's what you do. When you're playing at a high level, when you're healthy, you're gonna lead that team to a championship one of these days.'"
Jimmy Butler returns to Philadelphia as a member of the Miami Heat for the first time on November 23.