It came at a steep price however, losing two starters in Robert Covington and Dario Saric to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Also included was a second-round pick in 2022 and Jerryd Bayless, who’s 76ers career will be looked back on as a disappointment due to injuries. Reserve center Justin Patton is the second player coming to Philadelphia.
I wrote before the season it would be wise to stay away from trading for Butler, but this move was understandable and probably necessary.
The problem with trading for a star player, is that you’re giving up assets. Saric and Covington weren’t perfect players but provided 3-point shooting and energy.
Saric shot 35 percent from three during his Sixers tenure, while Covington is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter. Covington also made NBA First-Team All-Defense last season.
Trading two starters for one will hurt the depth on the roster. Younger players will have to step up and play bigger roles and veterans will have to stay healthy.
Since the 76ers traded three players for two, it leaves an open roster spot. General Manager Elton Brand said he wants to “do some real damage” with the open spot.
They will also be missed off the court. Both players were good in the locker room and were likeable players.
There’s also a question about Butler’s personality due to reports about his time with the Chicago Bulls and Timberwolves.
He left both teams on bad terms and has a reputation for being a “bad teammate.”
“I love my teammates,” Butler said in his introductory press conference. “I don’t think there’s too many of them that’ll tell you that I’m a bad teammate, but people get whatever they want to say out. It is what it is, but I think that I’m an incredible human being and teammate and I’ll show that to the guys here.”
Brand said he talked to several of Butler’s former coaches and teammates and heard great things about him. Brand believes his desire is to win.
This situation will be unlike his other stops in Chicago and Minnesota. Hopefully, he realizes this team belongs to Joel Embiid and can adapt to the 76ers fast-paced style.
If he does that, he will help this team improve and perhaps get a long-term contract in Philadelphia.
A trio of Ben Simmons, Embiid and Butler was too enticing to pass up for Brand, Brett Brown and the ownership group. I can’t say I blame them.
The Sixers filled their biggest issue acquiring Butler. This addition should help their half-court offense late in games.
It became apparent during their home win against the Charlotte Hornets last week their half-court offense could only be successful if Embiid was doing all the work.
The Sixers once again blew a big lead and failed to get a basket for over seven minutes in the fourth quarter. Embiid’s ability to draw fouls and get to the free throw line was their only offense.
The Hornets overcame a 21-point deficit and even took a five-point lead with 1:18 to play in the game.
The Sixers eventually won the game in overtime, 133-132, with Embiid scoring 42 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.
Blowing big leads was a problem last season and continued to haunt the Sixers in the first several weeks this season.
They needed to get Embiid help in the half-court game. Butler’s ability to drive to the basket and/or create his own jump shot should help the Sixers close out games.
Butler is also known for being one of the better two-way players in the entire NBA. Despite Covington walking out the door, their defense should not see a drop-off.
Another important aspect is how he will be perceived by the fans. His style and approach to the game should ingratiate himself to Philadelphia.
“They like people who grind, that work hard. That’s what I’ve built my basketball talent off of… I love to work. I love to grind. It doesn’t change now… if anything it means I take it up a notch. I know the city loves that.”@JimmyButler | #HereTheyCome
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 13, 2018
Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.