Jimmy Butler goes to Philly

Jimmy Butler photo by

Jimmy Butler goes to Philly
November 22
01:00 2018

Jimmy Butler finally got his wish.  Last week, he was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick.

Butler has been very adamant about a trade from the Twolves since training camp.  He could not have landed in a better spot than Philly, who looks to sign the four-time All-Star to a long term agreement this summer.  The two sides can’t negotiate any terms until Butler opts out of the final year of his contract after the season.

Butler will join Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid with the 76ers.  Simmons continues to evolve into one of the best young talents the NBA has to offer and Embiid is playing at an MVP level thus far this season.  The veteran presence of Butler should prove extremely valuable to those young guns.

The move for Butler changes the landscape of the Eastern Conference.  Philly currently is sitting at 5th in the conference, 3/5 games behind the top seeded Raptors.  Since Philly was able to pull this trade before Thanksgiving, that should give the 76ers more than enough time gel as a team.

Needless to say, with all of the turmoil that was reported going on in Minnesota, Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins are probably happy to see Butler go.  There seemed to be a new report every week about negative interactions between Butler and the Twolves young stars.

Before the arrival of Butler last season, Anthony-Towns was trending upward as one of the best young big men in the league.  His growth as a player seemed to be stunted with Butler on the team.  Wiggins, on the other hand never lived up to his NO.1 overall pick status, so his development continued to nose dive with Butler on the floor.

Things are not all peaches and cream for the 76ers either.  They lost two of their better shooters in the trade for Butler in Covington and Saric.  The only potent three point shooter on the roster is J.J. Redick.  We all know the NBA nowadays requires your team to have several guys who can shoot from distance.

Couple that with the fact Ben Simmons has never made a three point shot in his NBA career and the 76ers could be in trouble if roster moves are not made.  Adding Butler does give Philly a bonafide closer when the game is in jeopardy.

They are currently looking up at the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors.  The Pacers and Bucks have been playing very well to start the season, well beyond expectations.  Many assumed the Raptors would be good, but no one knew how newly acquired Kawhi Leonard would mesh with his new teammates, so far so good.

The Celtics have somewhat underachieved early on this season.  It seems they are having an issue with intergrating Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward with their young talent.  Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart, all rose to the occasion during the playoffs while Irving and Hayward were injured.

Tatum shined especially during last year’s playoffs, as a rookie.  He showed that the moment was not too big for him.  The second year man out of Duke averaged over 20 points per game in the playoffs, but seems like he is taking a backseat this year to the ball dominant Irving.

This should give the 76ers more than enough time to figure out a pecking order for their newly formed Big 3.  Butler has a reputation of being hard on teammates, but that might be exactly what this young team needs. 

Even if the Sixers don’t figure things out this year, they have more than enough time to get it right in the near future, if they sign Butler to a long-term deal.  A move or two for competent shooters should get them right where they want to be.  No one is going to beat the Warriors this year, but with Kevin Durant probably leaving this off-season, the chase to the championship could be wide open next year.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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