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Jimmy Butler finally traded from Minnesota; lands with Philadelphia

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According to reports, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers have reached an agreement to trade All-Star forward Jimmy Butler.

Sources stated that T-Wolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau decided late Friday night, after a fifth straight loss against the Sacramento Kings, that the team could no longer function with Butler as a part of it.

In exchange for Butler, the Wolves will receive Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, a 2020 second-round pick and forward Justin Patton, sources said.

The 76ers will be going all in on Butler this off-season as the team will 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.

With the trade, the Sixers’ odds to win the NBA title have improved from 30-1 to 16-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, and their odds to win the Eastern Conference went from 7-1 to 3-1.

Butler so far is averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while knocking down 37.8 percent of his shots from downtown in the games he played with the Timberwolves. Butler has scored at least 20 points in eight of the Wolves’ games so far and has sat out three contests to rest.

In a piece that was done by The BallOut before the NBA season had begun, Butler was not shy when he voiced his displeasure with the Wolves. Especially when it came to stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

When Minnesota gave Towns the max, it just further showed that the writing was on the wall as far as the inevitability of a Butler trade and that Towns being their centerpiece. The team is probably hoping he can turn into some kind of version of what Kevin Garnett was early in his career.

Now the Wolves wanted the right deal. Although Butler had made his destinations known about wanting to go to Brooklyn, LA Clippers and New York Knicks, Minnesota tried to make the best trade for them. Butler even liked the idea of playing for Houston or Miami, but no deal was ever confirmed.

This may have been the best possible trade as far as Minnesota is concerned because now you’re almost going the route of what the Orlando Magic did when they had Dwight Howard. It is also somewhat of what you’re seeing the New Orleans Pelicans with Anthony Davis but it hasn’t worked so far in New Orleans.

Minnesota wants to put shooters around Towns so when he’s doubled, you have guys around him that can hit the long ball. You’ve seen this with Anthony Toliver so far this season and Derrick Rose, who is on a hot streak and now you’re getting a solid shooter as well as wing-defender in Robert Covington and a stretch-four in Dario Saric.

The trade also helped the Wolves because quite simply… Butler is now in the Eastern Conference. You don’t have to worry about him on a possible contending team out in the Western Conference or in a destination where he wanted to be. Although Philly is nothing to sleep on because they’ve been playing stellar basketball. However, you at least get Butler away from your conference.

But if there wasn’t a reason to get hyped in Philadelphia than right now. The trade now makes things very interesting in the East. You probably thought at first the conference was a two, maybe three-team race. The teams you thought of were more than likely the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors.

The 76ers were a good solid team, but they didn’t make any big changes outside of signing Wilson Chandler, making them a team you didn’t think could make a deep playoff push to potentially upset those top three teams that were mentioned. Ben Simmons still can’t shoot and as good as Joel Embiid is, those two weren’t scaring anyone.

With this trade, Philly has now kicked the door down to at least say we’re here to join the party. Butler now gives you perimeter scoring in terms of a guy who can create his own shot and play great defense. Now does this hurt your depth? In some ways yes. In addition, you don’t know if Butler stays long term, even with Philly having the money to give him max dollars.

But Butler is one of those guys who you take that gamble on. Butler is what Philadelphia prides themselves on. That hard-nosed, blue-collar, tough as nails competitor that leaves it all on the court. The city will love him, he’ll love the city and I’m sure he’ll be motivated to play as hard as he can for this team.

The Wolves and Sixers will play each other on Jan. 15 and March 30, with the latter date being Butler’s return to Minnesota.

Things have just gotten a lot more interesting in the Eastern Conference if not the entire NBA.

 

 

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