As everyone now knows Jimmy Butler is a 76er, and he’s already fitting it well. He hit the game-winner against Charlotte on Saturday night and it looks as though he’s already comfortable playing alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Whilst the 76ers won the race for Butler there were many other teams in contention for him. The Houston Rockets were fairly close having offered 4 1st round draft pick for Butler’s services, but that wasn’t enough for the Timberwolves to accept.
One team that was in the mix for Butler, but flew slightly under the radar was the New Orleans Pelicans. In their effort to surround Anthony Davis with more talent they too were after the 2-way game that Butler brings to the table.
According to Kevin O’Connor, the Timberwolves wanted a 2022 unprotected first-round pick while New Orleans was only offering a 2019 first-round pick. It was this slight difference in the negotiations that lead to New Orleans being unsuccessful in their quest for Butler and he ended up in Philadelphia instead.
“With New Orleans, from what I heard is yeah, they did want Jrue Holiday, but what they also wanted or what they wanted maybe instead of Holiday was a 2022 unprotected first-round pick. They wanted that instead of the 2019 first round pick that was offered and New Orleans wasn’t willing to do that or they weren’t able to do that, so they ended up going with the Philadelphia deal.” O’Connor stated.
The pick in 2022 is of significance because that could be the first year since 2005 that high school players could forego college and go straight to the NBA if they are good enough.