NBA free agency rumors: 76ers still hoping to re-sign Jimmy Butler

The 76ers are still hoping they can keep Jimmy Butler beyond this season.

The 29-year-old star reportedly “aggressively challenged” coach Brett Brown about his role in the team’s offense during a recent film session and some within the organization considered his behavior “disrespectful.”

But, Philadelphia continues to want to re-sign Butler — who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent after 2018-19 — this summer, according to a report from ESPN, which cites unidentified league sources.

Butler demanded a trade away from the Timberwolves before the start of this season. The 76ers eventually acquired him in mid-November in exchange for a package centered around Robert Covington and Dario Saric.

The four-time All-Star is averaging 19.2 points and five rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game with Philadelphia. He’s shooting 47 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from 3-point range.

The 76ers will host the Hawks on Friday. They’ll enter that matchup with a 27-15 record.