Does The All-Star Forward Jimmy Butler Need A New Home?
(Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
It appears as though Jimmy Butler, the Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star forward, needs a new home. We obviously know that he needs a team in the Eastern Conference, one that has adequate resources to qualify as the ideal partner in a trade deal. On that note, the Philadelphia 76ers could be the right team.
This comes after the disappointing 120-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that happened last night. At this juncture, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in distraught as the 13th seed in the Western Conference with a record of 4-7.
By far, the Jimmy Butler drama is costing this teams harmony and a deal needs to be made soon. At the same time, trading Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers is a tricky affair. To a great extent this is because the Wolves' front office may have cut ties there, as reported by NBC Sports and The Ringer below:
This was reported by the NBC Sports and The Ringer
"Just a few hours following The Athletic's Sam Amick report that the Sixers were "completely out" on Jimmy Butler after preliminary discussions, another nugget sprinkled out into the internet.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, appearing Thursday on The Bill Simmons Podcast, via Bleacher Report, said:
One of the things that I've heard from a handful of sources is that with the Sixers for example-the initial offer that they made, the counter-offer was like, 'We need Ben Simmons in a deal.'"
We've written plenty on why Butler isn't the right star for the Sixers. Just today, my teammate Paul Hudrick had this to write about Butler:
Butler is a very good, two-way basketball player that would make Elton Brand's team better immediately. ... But his fit just isn't perfect. He's never been an elite three-point shooter, most of his points are scored in isolation and this is the second time he couldn't play nice with other stars. The Sixers need to surround Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with shooters, Brett Brown's offense relies on pace and space, and it doesn't seem ideal to bring Butler into a situation where he'd be playing the second or third fiddle."
The question becomes, why in the world would Philadelphia make a move for the 4-time All-Star when the Sixers are a fast-paced 3-point shooting team that doesn't require a ball-needy wing?
Maybe this is because the Sixers aren't who we thought they were. Now they're not one of the top-ten team in the league like we saw some time in last years postseason results, it's very apparent that the 3-point loss has stud Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Consequently, this has hurt the fluidity of their offense.
Although the Sixers could use a high volume spot up shooter like Klay Thompson more than Jimmy Butler, they still need to entice Thompson-like players to come to Philly next summer in free agency, as they are one of 11 teams that can afford a max contract player.
If we obtain Butler's bird rights, we would have to sign JB long term, as a result, if we went for another All-Star next Summer, this would be the cherry on top for the Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons-led Sixers, who could potentially blow the East wide open with 4 All-Stars in their starting lineup next season.
At this point, the 76ers ought to look in the mirror and realize that they have a healthy team that is supposed to be good. But that's not the case, so what's the problem?
The thing is, just like the Markelle Fultz situation, Philly is struggling with their identity. The thing is that Philly does have a quality that is embedded in their organization, they're gritty. On the same note, playing well and being gritty is just not enough for them to cut it. At the moment, they're sitting at a record of 6-5 and losing to the embarrassingly bad Brooklyn Nets last night 122-97.