The big blockbuster trade that we have been waiting for finally happened as the Minnesota Timberwolves have traded Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia. While Philly wasn’t one of his rumored destinations, it does make a ton of sense as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have shown that they are ready to win now.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 10, 2018
[geocode id=2]For the Sixers, this is definitely a move to get them back into the discussion as a top team in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors have jumped out to a huge lead ahead of them, the Bucks have looked fantastic, and the Celtics are the presumptive best team in the East. They were looking at a very real possibility of being the fourth seed in the East which is not where this team wants to be. This trade changes that.
This trade immediately improves their three-point shooting and gives them an elite defender as well. While Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are fantastic players, they will really benefit from having Butler in crunch time which is where this trade really works for them. This should, hopefully, take more pressure off of Markelle Fultz and allow him to develop at his own pace while still allowing the team to contend.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says that Minnesota made the realization that this dysfunction would never work and moved quickly to make this deal. The team had started 0-7 on the road and Butler was much more of a hindrance than a helper.
The Wolves get back Robert Covington and Dario Saric in the deal which is a much better situation for this team. Karl-Anthony Towns is undoubtedly the future of the franchise and the team needs to focus on him. Saric and Covington add depth to this team and if Derrick Rose continues to play like he has, you have to think this team has at least an outside shot of the 8th seed. Hopefully, this gets the team re-focused and re-energized going forward.
The fit of Butler on the Sixers isn’t natural and there will be growing pains, but this team needed to strike now. They have a small window in which to add an impact player before Embiid and Simmons get their raises and they took the best one available. Waiting til free agency is a dangerous game as you can easily miss out through no doing of your own. Philadelphia plans to extend Butler this off-season so this should be their core going forward. Their new Big Three.
Is it enough to get them to the Eastern Conference Finals? Only time will tell. That said, this team is far better than last year’s team that made the second round of the playoffs and that’s all you can hope for with a young team like this. This isn’t just a move for this year, but the next three to four when their championship window should be wide open.
The most recent odds had the 76ers at +400 to win the Eastern Conference. We’ll monitor any changes to that number.