Report: Wolves’ Jimmy Butler to Be Traded to 76ers for Robert Covington and More

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly trading All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Sixers will send Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless to Minnesota for Butler. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe confirmed the deal, adding that Minnesota will receive a 2019 second-round pick and send Justin Patton to Philadelphia. 

By trading Butler, Minnesota assured that it wouldn’t lose him without some compensation since the player can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.

So far this season, Butler is averaging 21.3 points and 5.2 rebounds in 10 games. 

In September, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the 29-year-old met with T-Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau to discuss his future with the team.

Wojnarowski noted that while Butler and Thibodeau had a strong relationship, the player’s partnership with Karl-Anthony Towns was “strained.”

Later, Wojnarowski reported that Butler requested a trade, with the Los Angeles Clippers as his preferred destination—although he also expressed interest in the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

Additionally, Wojnarowski reported that while Thibodeau wanted to keep Butler, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wanted to move him.

The Timberwolves and Miami Heat were reportedly approaching a deal involving Butler, but Wojnarowski wrote on Oct. 8 that it fell apart in the closing stages.

Following the start of the 2018-19 campaign, Wojnarowski reported that the Houston Rockets made an offer of four first-round picks for Butler.

Prior to the 2017-18 season, the Timberwolves acquired Butler and center Justin Patton from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine and power forward Lauri Markkanen.

Knowing Butler’s contract status, it was an all-in move from a Timberwolves team that was desperate to taste the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04.

The trade paid dividends for Minnesota, as he averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game en route to his fourth consecutive All-Star selection.

Minnesota also reached the playoffs as the No. 8 seed before getting ousted in five games by the Houston Rockets in the first round.

Although Butler brought the T-Wolves back to the playoffs, he didn’t mesh with Towns and Andrew Wiggins in a way that made the team a true contender in the Western Conference.

Also, Minnesota parted with a ton of talent in order to get him.

Dunn, LaVine and Markkanen were all selected No. 13 or higher in the draft, and all three have performed well for the Bulls since the trade.

Minnesota recouped some assets by dealing Butler, but it can be argued it would be better off had it kept the aforementioned players alongside Towns and Wiggins.

The Timberwolves still have a core capable of accomplishing big things in the coming years, though, while the Sixers have added an All-Star who can help take them to the next level. They are off to a respectable 8-5 start, but the offense ranks 21st in efficiency with 106.8 points per 100 possessions. 

The 76ers made a power move by acquiring Butler, as he will join center Joel Embiid and guard Ben Simmons to form one of the best core groups in the NBA

Philly took a big step forward by returning to the playoffs last season and reaching the second round, and Butler may be precisely what it needs to contend for an NBA Finals appearance.

The Sixers could conceivably lose him for nothing in free agency, but if Butler fits in well, they may finally have enough to win the Eastern Conference this season.

NBA News

via Bleacher Report – NBA

November 10, 2018 at 10:03AM


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