The 76ers began this week with a 6-5 record. Philadelphia played three games last week, and won two of three, improving to 8-6 on the young season. Let’s run through some quick hits for last week, and preview next week.
Breaking down what we gave up in the Jimmy Butler deal:
The Sixers sent Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star Jimmy Butler. With the departure of Saric and Covington, many fans have mixed emotions about the trade. Emotions aside, losing Saric and Covington leaves a big hole at the wing, one that Butler will be slated to fill upon his arrival in Philly.
Saric, a fan favorite in Philly, has spent the entirety of his short career in the NBA with the 76ers. In the two full seasons that Saric played with the 76ers, he averaged around 13 points, six rebounds, and two assists per game.
Saric has had a rough start to the 2018 season, averaging just over 11 points a night while shooting just 36 percent from the floor. While Saric never necessarily lit the stat sheet on fire, Philadelphia will miss a great teammate and a hard-working player.
Covington, who is now in his seventh season as a pro, spent most of his NBA career as a 76er. While being on the Rockets for two seasons, RoCo only played a combined eight games with Houston. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, Covington has developed into a stout defender and has shown promise as a three-point shooter.
Covington, over his years in Philadelphia, averaged just over 12 points, and five boards per game. Covington also averaged over 35 percent from three-point range as a 76er. The loss of RoCo is a big one on defense, but I know I won’t miss his horrible shot selection.
Jerryd Bayless, the 10-year vet, has only been with 76ers for two full seasons. Bayless was a bench player, who hasn’t seen much action in 2018. This was a depth acquisition for Minnesota.
The 76erss have also surrendered a 2022 second-round pick, which seemed to be the cherry on top for Minnesota.
What Jimmy Butler brings to Philly:
The Minnesota Timberwolves sent Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton to the 76ers. Butler, 28 years old, has played seven seasons in the NBA prior to 2018 and will be a veteran presence in Philadelphia.
Butler, for those who aren’t familiar, played his first six seasons as a pro in Chicago. He then would play one full season in Minnesota before voicing his displeasure with the organization and requesting a trade.
With Butler, the 76ers add another piece to their core group of players. Many would consider Butler the “star” they were allegedly hunting for this summer. Philadelphia fans are incredibly excited to add Butler, and believe they now have a newly formed “big three.”
Butler is averaging 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and 2.4 steals per game in 2018. Statistics do not tell the whole story, however, when it comes to the impact Jimmy Butler will have on the 76ers.
Butler brings a certain tenacity to the floor every night. He possesses that killer instinct and will be surrounded with young talent that really wants to win.
The newly acquired star gives the 76ers someone to take big shots at the end of games. Adding Butler is a big deal for the 76ers and provides a big boost to their chances for a deep playoff run this year. An argument can be made that this trade puts them back in the conversation with Toronto and Boston.
While Butler is the big part of this deal, Justin Patton, was also sent to Philly in this trade, shouldn’t be overlooked as well. Patton is a 21-year-old seven-footer, whose NBA resume is short. Patton was the 16th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, selected by the Chicago Bulls. Patton may not see much action in the immediate future but could prove to make an impact down the line.
A look ahead:
The 76xers will play four games next week, three of which will be on the road. The 76ers will travel to Miami Monday night to take on the Heat, Orlando on Wednesday to square off against the Magic, and then play in Philadelphia against the Utah Jazz on Friday where Butler hopes to make his home debut. Philly will close out their week with another showdown against Charlotte on Saturday.
Game of the Week: at Orlando (Nov. 14)
For 76ers fans, it is going to be a long few days, waiting anxiously to see Jimmy Butler in a 76ers uniform. Due to the timing of the trade, the 76ers will have to play Miami without Butler, and also the players they gave up in the deal.
Philadelphia will get its first look at their new acquisition on Wednesday night against a lowly Orlando Magic team.
This will be the second meeting between these two teams, last game was a one-point contest, that the 76ers took 116-115. The second matchup will look much different than the first, as Butler and 76ers will have their first chance to play real basketball. With a potential new core piece, all eyes will be on the 76ers Wednesday night.
You won’t want to miss it, and you can catch it on NBC Sports Philadelphia if it isn’t flexed to a national TV slot.