Jimmy Butler has obviously been at odds with the Minnesota Timberwolves and even demanded a trade before the season began, but he wasn’t granted one. Butler has continued to play at a high level, but his desire to be traded never went away and the T-Wolves apparently wanted to get over the drama. On Saturday, the NBA trade was made official as Minnesota dealt Butler away to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package of multiple players.
ESPN reported that the Timberwolves agreed to trade Butler to the 76ers, which will partner him with a team that has numerous young and talented pieces. Philly is playing well and has a record of 8-5 this season to sit in the third spot in the Eastern Conference, but this will officially give them a “Big Three.”
Butler completes the trio in Philly that already included Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and it gives them a veteran leader on the floor as well as in the locker room. Along with Butler, Minnesota is also sending seven-foot center Justin Pattern to Philadelphia as part of the trade.
Jimmy Butler is still expected to become a free agent at the end of this season, but he will bring a lot of talent to the 76ers for at least one season.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 10, 2018
The Timberwolves knew that they were going to be at odds with Butler all season due to his pre-season trade request. After a short hold-out, he did report to practice and has been playing extremely well for a Minnesota team that has a poor record of 4-9 through the first 13 games of the season.
Philadelphia knew that acquiring Butler would immediately make them a better overall team, and they put together a trade package that caught the attention of the T-Wolves. Minnesota acquired Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and a second-round pick in exchange for Butler.
While nothing is yet confirmed, the T-Wolves may end up waiving Bayless once the trade is completed and approved by the NBA. Still, Minnesota is looking at just what and who will work best for them in hopes of salvaging the season.
As soon as the trade was announced, the Philadelphia 76ers saw their odds of winning the NBA Championship improve dramatically. Oddsmakers now have them as 16-1 odds to win the title instead of 30-1 as they were before the trade. The acquisition of Jimmy Butler has also helped their odds of winning the Eastern Conference go from 7-1 to 3-1.
The Sixers were already proving they are a force to be reckoned with in the NBA this season, but this trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves solidifies it.