We all knew that this day was coming but, no matter how much analytical data or insider information the media thought they had, couldn’t foresee this happening today. Jimmy Butler is no a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves and will be taking his talents to Philadelphia to play in the red, white, and blue as a 76er.
One of the biggest on-going narratives of the this young NBA season was Jimmy Butler’s disdain for the Minnesota Timberwolves organization and his desire to be traded. Week in and week out, it appeared as if the Wolves were attempting to milk the most of a bad situation. But in reality, the franchise was in the hunt for the perfect scenario to acquire some much-needed pieces and set themselves for the future.
From a positive perspective, both teams were able to get what they needed out of this deal. The Wolves weren’t only able to get rid of a cancer in Jimmy Butler, they also were able to get him out of the Western Conference as well. All the while, acquiring Dario Saric, who in his third-year has become a well-known three-point threat with a career average of 35% from behind the arc. His presence on the court will allow guard’s Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose to do more damage on the offensive side of the ball while spreading things out and leaving him as a viable option to become an effective spot-up shooter.
As for the 76ers, they officially have a concrete Big-3 in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler. But some questions do arise, is Butler a good fit for the Sixers? How will his personality mesh with Embiid’s and Simmons’? Where does Markelle Fultz fit into this equation? Is Butler a long-term option for the Sixers?
The Future: Is Jimmy Butler the Perfect Long-Term Fit for the 76ers?
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, both Jimmy Butler and the Sixers expect to discuss a long-term deal to come into fruition this upcoming off-season. But Butler’s personal conflicts and style of play could vastly affect the development of Philly’s young established core similar to that of Lebron James’ arrival in Los Angeles.
Also, when Butler was a member of the Timberwolves (4-9), the team wasn’t able to win a single game away from their own arena, allowing Tom Thibodeau and the Wolves to make their decision to trade the guard an even easier one. With that said, the Sixers could potentially be playing a dangerous game by affiliating themselves with the guard.
With Joel Embiid averaging a little over 28 points per game this season and Markelle Fultz finally looking like the high-ranking NBA Draft pick he was, will this Sixers team be willing to adjust to the ball-dominant style of play Butler has become accustomed to? Not to mention, how effective will Ben Simmons be during the Sixers’ offensive sets without him maintaining control of the ball and lacking a consistent jump shot? Will Jimmy Butler prove himself to be the domineering alpha who destroys everything in his path?
With Butler shooting a career-high 37.8% from three and being such a useful weapon on both ends of the court, he’s definitely going to help the Sixers become a top contender in the Eastern Conference but is he worth a max-contract of $190 million or more? Only time will tell.