The Minnesota Timberwolves officially completed their blockbuster trade that shipped star guard Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers — and time will tell how it works out for both sides.
The end of Butler’s time with Minnesota certainly was noteworthy, from berating his now-former teammates during practice to getting booed during the T-Wolves home opener. Philadelphia needed to make a big move, and it did just that in acquiring Butler. But the 29-year-old comes with a lot of risk that could hurt Philly’s hopes of contending for an NBA title, according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.
“The potential downside? Where to begin,” Mannix wrote. “Butler is a ball-dominant player who likes to handle the ball and create. (Ben) Simmons is a ball-dominant player who likes to handle the ball and create. (Markelle) Fultz is a ball-dominant player who likes to handle the ball and create.”
Mannix notes what goes behind the scenes, not just what happens on the court, is important, too.
“The locker-room dynamic will be worth watching, too. Butler cartoonishly forced his way out of Minnesota, and while his new teammates won’t care about his issues with the Wolves, a take-no-prisoners attitude probably won’t go over well, either,” he wrote. “There are league-wide whispers that (Joel) Embiid and Simmons take a more casual approach to practice (“It’s pretty well known,” a rival pro personnel scout told SI.com), which could conflict with Butler’s well-publicized intensity.
“Will Butler be critical of teammates who don’t give what he deems to be maximum effort?
Though Butler provides a boost to the 76ers offense, is it possible the team is taking on too much of a risk in trading for him? For now, Butler has a chance to help a team reach the postseason. And if he can keep his attitude in check, he could prove to be a substantial addition.
Thumbnail photo via Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Images
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