The drama in Minnesota ended after the Timberwolves traded Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick. Butler is expected to boost the Sixers’ chance of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, while the Timberwolves are hoping that Saric and Covington could help them remain competitive in the Western Conference this season.
Before the Timberwolves-Sixers blockbuster deal became official, Minnesota engaged in trade discussions with other NBA teams. These include the Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Washington Wizards. When he demanded a trade from the Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler named the Heat as one his preferred landing spots. The Heat initially offered a trade package including Josh Richardson, but in their last trade negotiation with the Timberwolves, they no longer made him available, especially after a stellar start this season.
Meanwhile, with their goal to make a huge impact in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards obviously need a huge upgrade on their roster. However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that the Wizards refused to part ways with Bradley Beal.
“Minnesota passed on a Miami deal weeks ago that would’ve included guard Josh Richardson, and the Heat never returned him into talks, sources said. Washington wouldn’t offer guard Bradley Beal, sources said.”
Unlike the Wizards and the Heat, the Rockets and the Pelicans provided a strong competition to the Sixers in their pursuit of Jimmy Butler. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (h/t CBS Sports), the Rockets, who initially offered a trade package including four-first round picks, changed their proposal to Eric Gordon, Nene, and two first-round picks. The Pelicans’ trade package reportedly included Nikola Mirotic and a future first-round pick.
“Minnesota begins to engage seriously with Philadelphia, New Orleans and Houston. New Orleans’ package is headlined by Nikola Mirotic and an unprotected first-round draft pick and the Rockets’ proposal has Eric Gordon, Nene and two first-round picks, sources said. The 76ers come with their proposal around Robert Covington and Dario Saric, leaving the Timberwolves to deliberate.”
Most people were surprised why the Timberwolves didn’t send Jimmy Butler to the Rockets, especially when they finally included Eric Gordon in the deal. However, a previous Inquisitr article revealed that Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and owner Glen Taylor were in a “strong agreement” about not trading Butler to the Rockets. Both executives reportedly don’t want to be responsible for elevating the Rockets to superpower status.