76ers shooting guard Jimmy Butler has challenged coach Brett Brown over his role in the team's offense, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
Butler reportedly has called out Brown over his system, including in a recent film session. Some witnesses called the exchange "disrespectful" and said it went beyond normal interactions between a player and coach, reports Wojnarowski and Shelburne.
However, Brown reportedly told sources that he had no issues with Butler in the film session.
League sources told ESPN that they are worried about Butler's ability to fit in with the Sixers and if he can stay with the team long-term. The Sixers are focused on making the team's Big 3 (Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons) work but it's been a "substantial challenge" so far, according to ESPN.
Philadelphia acquired Butler in a November trade with the Timberwolves, hoping that the shooting guard could help their pursuit of winning a championship. Butler, who becomes a free agent this summer, requested a trade from Minnesota in September after the team made it clear that it would not offer him a max extension.
Rival teams reportedly believe that Butler will talk to other teams this summer interested in signing him.
Despite the reported tension with Butler and the team so far this season, Brown said after Monday night's game against the Clippers that he remains committed to figuring out the team's chemistry.
"We're coming together," Brown said, according to ESPN. "We have a new opportunity. You don't just click your heels and throw Jimmy Butler in and everybody's going to be playing the same way and style. It (doesn't) work like that. So, my job is to grow a team. Ben and Jo, Jo and Jimmy, go anywhere you want. Those four are huge. Playing together is what's always, by a long shot, on my mind."
The Sixers are currently 25–14 and sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The team has gone 14–8 since Butler's arrival in November.