Jimmy Butler finally got his wish granted - He has been traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves and is back in the Eastern Conference.
The Philadelphia 76ers play the Orlando Magic tonight (only available on League Pass) and it sounds like Jimmy Butler will start for the Sixers. Butler was traded by the T-Wolves along with Justin Patton to Philadelphia in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jarryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round draft pick.
The Jimmy Butler drama has carried over from a long Summer into an uncomfortable start to the season for the Timberwolves. The drama translated into a poor record to start, underwhelming performances by the Wolves’ young stars, and tensions reaching new heights.
The inevitable trade happened on 11/10/18, effectively jettisoning Butler from the team. All things considered, it wasn’t a bad haul for the Wolves since Butler was a lock to leave one way or another.
Dario Saric will bring a nice facet to Tom Thibodeau’s squad in the form of a stretch four that can stay out of Karl-Anthony Towns’ way, but still be a scoring threat. Robert Covington brings needed perimeter shooting as well and Jaryd Bayless is a solid veteran presence to backup oft-injured point guard, Derrick Rose.
Philadelphia’s new star
Butler is the kind of player that can realistically fit with any team on the court. He has good size and strength, but maintains the quickness necessary to lock down opposing perimeter players. He is an improved outside shooter and a fantastic slasher. However, he is leaving a team with young players with unique personalities to go to… a team with young players with unique personalities.
The 76ers go-to scorer, rebounder, and rim-protector is Joel Embiid. “The Process” as he is nicknamed is a 7 footer that can hit the three and handle the rock in a pinch. Aside from being an MVP candidate, he is actually known just as much for his tweeting and say-anything demeanor.
Philly’s other star is Ben Simmons, a 6’10” point guard with incredible talent that refuses to shoot jumpers. There is also Markelle Fultz, another huge talent and former first overall pick that is so down in the confidence department, that he may struggle to ever reach his potential.
Enter Butler, who is a fiery competitor that was fed up with his nonchalant young teammates in Minny. Despite the quirks of his new teammates, he must see more of a desire to win here.
After giving up substantial outside shooting, Philadelphia will have to adjust on the fly as they are clearly in “win now” mode. Will Fultz get with the program or be the next piece to be moved?
One way or another - this is going to be interesting. The Sixers were already one of the most fun teams to watch and that is not set to change. Stay tuned to the Movement!