Well, it finally happened. Jimmy Butler has been traded. After weeks of asking “Who’s going to get him”, it ended up being the Philadelphia 76ers. Minnesota traded Butler for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and the 2nd round pick in 2022.
Yesterday, we wrote about this trade package and we were 100% right. You can check it - NBA Rumors: A Trade Package For Jimmy Butler That The Timberwolves Cannot Reject.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski:
Minnesota Timberwolves: A
Minnesota should be ecstatic. They got rid of Jimmy Butler, which is a plus to start. He brought a lot of unwanted drama, fought and argued with management and players, and just didn’t agree on the mentality that players like Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins played with, as he called them soft.
While getting rid of Butler was a step in the right direction for this team, they got an extra pick for the future, plus Robert Covington and Dario Saric, who are 2 young and hungry players who can play ball. Covington was averaging 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds with Philly, as he can also light it up from the downtown. Saric is averaging numbers almost identical to Covington, as he’s putting up 11.1 points a game, and also a solid 6.6 rebounds.
Minnesota will have a very young lineup with Wiggins, Covington, Saric and Towns. If Derrick Rose can play on this level, they will be probably better than they were this season.
Practically, Minnesota turned Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn into Robert Covington and Dario Saric.
Philadelphia Sixers: (A+ or D-)
Now let’s look at what Philly got. Most people will now look at them as a title contender for the east, but how long will that last? As I feel the players alone that were traded were fairly even, what puts this trade to bed for me is the contracts. Jimmy Butler is expected to become a free agent at the end of this season, and as the 76ers want to extend him of course, Jimmy will most than likely be asking for a max contract, and he will probably sign for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Now let’s look at the contracts that they gave up. Dario Saric is signed through next year and is only getting roughly 4 million a year. Covington is signed through the 2020/21 season and is only getting paid about 13 million, which is dirt cheap for 2 players of their caliber.
If Philadelphia Sixers beat Boston Celtics or Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, then they deserve to get A+. If they don't play in the Eastern Conference Finals, then Jimmy Butler could leave them and sign for teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks or Los Angeles Clippers.
It will be interesting to see how each team plays for the rest of the season after this trade, and we’ll see who really ends up winning the trade.