The Philadelphia 76ers signed free agent forward P.J. Tucker to a three-year, $33.2 million deal. Tucker posted a farewell message on Instagram to his former team, the Miami Heat, and former teammate Jimmy Butler responded in the comments as only he could.
“f— you and @joelembiid yeah I brought him into this,” Butler wrote.
Tucker’s farewell post was touching, which is what makes Butler’s reaction such a hilarious contrast.
“What a year…True underdogs that really got it out the mud and went against all odds,” Tucker wrote. “Miami you will forever be my home and heat nation i can’t thank you guys enough for the love you’ve shown all year. Though our journey together has come to an end the love will forever remain the same.”
Before anybody gets too excited, this is how Butler communicates with his teammates and people he loves and respects in the NBA. It’s also how the Heat players communicate and talk to and about one another.
Former teammate JJ Redick affectionately refers to Butler as a “d*ck.” Current teammate Bam Adebayo says, “we all know Jimmy is an a**hole.”
Butler is that dude that if you don’t know him he can obviously make you feel some type of way. But for those that do, to know him is to love him, as the saying goes.
He has nothing but love and respect for Joel Embiid, going back to their days as teammates on the 76ers. But he and Tucker are “enemies” now, so “f*** them.”
Both the 76ers and Heat are making moves to ensure they have rosters that can compete with the Boston Celtics (defending conference champs) and Milwaukee Bucks (2021 NBA champs).
In addition to Tucker, the 76ers added Danuel House, acquired De’Anthony Melton in a trade from the Memphis Grizzlies and are working on re-signing James Harden.
Harden and Tyrese Maxey worked out together recently with 76ers assistant coach Sam Cassell. Chemistry from those two will need to improve for the 76ers to reach their ceiling.
76ers assistant coach Sam Cassell didn’t hold back during a workout with Tyrese Maxey and James Harden 🔥
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 8, 2022
Meanwhile it’s been a relatively quiet offseason for the Heat. The aforementioned Tucker is gone, but they re-signed Dewayne Dedmon, Caleb Martin, and Victor Oladipo.
With Butler, Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Kyle Lowry, that’s the same team that won 53 games and was the No. 1 seed in the East last season.
The Heat are also on the list of preferred destinations for current Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. The 10-time All-NBA, two-time Finals MVP, and 2014 league MVP requested a trade at the beginning of free agency. He is under contract for four more years, which would be a big plus for the Heat. But they have limited assets and players to ship out.
As it currently stands the top of the East are the Celtics, Bucks, Heat and 76ers in that order. Of course that’s all subject to change depending on what happens the rest of the free agency period, what happens with the melodrama in Brooklyn with Durant and Kyrie Irving, and the inevitable injuries that will occur next season.