Since the 2018 NBA season started, the Philadelphia 76ers have been aggressively searching on the market for superstars who can play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Unfortunately, their top targets in the free agency and trade markets ended up joining other teams. LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, while Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors.
Days before training camp is scheduled to begin, another NBA superstar is expected to be available on the trade market — Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that the All-Star guard will be meeting with Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden this week to discuss his future in Minnesota. Should the Timberwolves not get an assurance that Butler intends to stay beyond the 2018-19 NBA season, rival executives expect Butler to be on the trading block before the February NBA trade deadline.
According to Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report, one of the potential landing spots for Jimmy Butler is the Philadelphia 76ers.
“It stands to reason that they would be interested in going after the similarly talented Butler, who would slot in well next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as a dominant wing defender who can also create offense. Butler’s presence would make Robert Covington expendable, and his good-value contract and solid three-point shooting would be a nice pickup for Minnesota. They would probably insist on Dario Saric too, and as tough as it would be to part with the talented Croatian forward, it worth be worth it to land an All-Star in his prime for a Sixers team that’s squarely focused on contending right now.”
ESPN story on the issues challenging Jimmy Butler, Tom Thibodeau and Minnesota’s future. https://t.co/BkWLNq47xf
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 15, 2018
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Sixers will be trading Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Mike Muscala to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both teams in addressing their respective roster deficiencies.
The Sixers will be acquiring a legitimate NBA superstar who can help Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid carry the club to the NBA Finals next season. The acquisition of Butler will undeniably boost the Sixers’ performance on both ends of the floor. In the 59 games he played with the Timberwolves last season, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 2.0 steals on 47.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, instead of losing Butler for nothing in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Timberwolves will receive two young players who fit the timeline of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Robert Covington could replace Butler in the wing, giving the Timberwolves an incredible defender who can post a threat from beyond the arc.
Dario Saric could replace Taj Gibson as the Timberwolves starting power forward next season. He has the potential to contribute to a formidable frontcourt with Towns, and to become Minnesota’s third scoring option.