Jimmy Butler is now the starting small forward of the Philadelphia 76ers.
As per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski,
The 76ers are trading forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless, and a 2020 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton, sources said
I first reported rumblings of the potential trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers at 3:53 AM today.
In the report, I stated that if a Wolves/76ers trade discussion for Jimmy Butler were to happen, Sixers would have to present a Dario Saric, Robert Covington & a first-round pick to at least open the conversation.
Another Jimmy Butler trade scenario between Minnesota and the 76ers could have fluidly worked if the Sixers offered Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington and two first round picks in exchange for Butler.
Pretty darn close!
Ultimately, Covington and Saric are gone.
Per Woj: The 76ers would be able to offer Butler a five-year max contract worth $190 million, while other teams could offer four years and a projected $141 million.
The Houston Rockets were at one point a favorite…realistically two months ago. September, a lot has changed since. Discussions of Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker were “a thing,” but it never materialized on either side.
It even got to Eric Gordon a little bit. “All I can do is go out there and play,” Eric Gordon told The Athletic’s Kelly Iko yesterday.
“The only tough thing is some of your friends always come to you with, ‘Do you think you’re gonna be traded?’ That’s the only annoying thing. At the end of the day I’m just a basketball player and I have to control what I can control.”
Ultimately, the best deal that the Rockets muster up on record was the Timberwolves’ four future first-round draft picks.
As for the Miami Heat, there was an issue of whether the Heat wanted to part ways with Josh Richardson.
To trade or not to trade?! That was the question! With all respect due to NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Philly was their answer.
The Milwaukee Bucks offered Khris Middleton, no dice. The Los Angeles Clippers was a thought. Sources told me that had Butler been traded to the Clippers, he’d re-sign.
The Brooklyn Nets did have a cup of coffee with the Timberwolves. But ultimately, they were unwilling to part with Caris LeVert who is currently living his best life and hitting buzzer beater after buzzer beater.
“He has absolutely turned the corner in year three,” Nets play-by-play broadcaster, Ian Eagle told 670 The Score’s Ken Davis and Demonze Spruiel by way of Regal Radio.
“There is just a confidence in him.”
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor pretty much laid it all out last week in an interview with Darren “Doogie” Wolfson. He said that he was “not in a rush” to trade Butler.
Does one week count as not in a rush?!
“We’ve talked to teams,” Taylor told Wolfson on “The Scoop Podcast.
“I don’t think any team has probably given us their best offer yet. Teams started out with the idea that Jimmy said he wanted to be traded, and maybe they make an offer where they think they can get a good deal, but it isn’t necessarily a good deal for us. I understand that. That’s the part where we need to be patient and work with the other team. Ideally, you want a thing where both teams feel they got good value.”
Taylor’s comments were a hint and a half.
The Philadelphia 76ers and their GM, Elton Brand were quiet, yet prudent while many believed Miami or Houston were Butler’s final destination. Some even laughed at the Sixers’ chances after the T-Wolves reportedly asked for Ben Simmons in a trade; of course that never happened.
Both teams kept at it and a deal got done. The Sixers get an All-Star in Jimmy Butler to compliment young stars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
The Sixers missed out on LeBron James, Paul George and Jamal Crawford via free agency this offseason. They also rid themselves of Jerryd Bayless’ contract, something a source told me this summer that they’ve desperately wanted to do.