Now that LeBron James is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference is expected to have a new ruler in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. As of now, three NBA teams have emerged as the favorite to steal the throne from the Cleveland Cavaliers. These include the Boston Celtics, Philadephia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors.
Unlike the Celtics and the Raptors, the 76ers currently don’t have a legitimate superstar on their roster aside from young and promising talents Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. If they are serious about becoming the new king of the East, the Sixers should consider making a huge roster upgrade before the February NBA trade deadline. According to Harrison Grimm of the Sixers Sense, one of the potential trade targets for the 76ers is Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After expressing his frustration with his Timberwolves’ young teammates Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the departure of Jimmy Butler in Minnesota looks inevitable. Butler recently decided to decline the contract extension the Timberwolves offered, heating up the speculation that he will be leaving the team next summer as an unrestricted free agent. Trading him now will be the Timberwolves’ best option, rather than losing him in free agency without getting anything in return.
In the proposed trade deal by the Sixers Sense, the 76ers would send Robert Covington and the Miami Heat’s 2021 first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler. The Sixers need to add more players for the deal to work under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. If the trade becomes a reality, it is expected to benefit not only the 76ers, but also the Timberwolves.
“Covington would be the perfect complement to Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins lacks in three-point shooting, and in perimeter defense; two qualities Robert Covington built his career up from. Having Covington in their starting line up would also move Andrew Wiggins to the shooting guard position more often, which many have argued should be his full-time position. On top of Covington, the Timberwolves would get a potentially great first rounder for the future. The 2021 NBA Draft is currently scheduled to be the first draft since 2005 in which high schoolers will be eligible for the draft.”
The acquisition of Jimmy Butler will give the 76ers a legitimate superstar who could help them fully dominate the Eastern Conference next season. As Sixers Sense noted, Butler will be addressing three areas where the Sixers performed poorly last season: perimeter defense, playmaking, and three-point shooting. To further convince the Timberwolves to push through with the deal, the 76ers may need to add another young player and a future draft pick.