On November 12, the Minnesota Timberwolves granted Jimmy Butler’s trade request by sending him and Justin Patton to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and a 2022 second-round pick. Almost two weeks since the blockbuster trade, Butler looks very happy with his new team.
In a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Bleacher Report), Jimmy Butler said that the difference between his former team and the Sixers is “night and day.” Charania revealed that Butler doesn’t have any hard feelings toward his former Timberwolves teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and his decision to demand a trade was mainly influenced by his contract negotiation with the Timberwolves and their overall roster.
However, after the Sixers’ 113-107 victory over the Utah Jazz, it seems like Jimmy Butler was taking a shot at Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
“Everybody wants to win. When somebody messes up, you talk to them, they don’t take it personal, and they do their job,” Butler said. “I think everybody is such a good basketball player and we all want to do right that sometimes we mess up.”
When the Timberwolves suffered an early playoff exit last season, rumors started to swirl that Jimmy Butler was frustrated with the performance of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. During the Timberwolves’ practice session in October, Butler reportedly bashed both young players and told the organization that they can’t win without him on their roster.
— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) November 19, 2018
In Philadelphia, Jimmy Butler is also playing alongside two young superstars – Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. However, unlike when he first teamed up with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the 29-year-old superstar looks more optimistic with what he can accomplish by playing alongside Simmons and Embiid.
“Ben [Simmons] sees the game steps ahead, and Joel [Embiid] is a monster inside,” Butler said. “So I’m envisioning what we can be.”
Even without a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid led the Sixers to the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season. Now that Jimmy Butler is on the team, the Sixers didn’t only become the favorite NBA team to fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, but it also gave them a real chance of challenging the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
Since Butler arrived in Philadelphia, the Sixers have won three of their last four games. As a new member of the Sixers, Butler is currently averaging 18.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals on 55.3 percent shooting from the field and 42.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc.