Moore & Wob: 76ers Go All-In With Jimmy Butler Trade, Wolves Shouldn’t Be Done Dealing
- Jimmy Butler will reportedly be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Minnesota Timberwolves getting Robert Covington, Dario Saric and a draft pick in return.
- Matt Moore and Rob Perez analyze all the angles of the deal. Does this make the 76ers a true contender in the East? Did the Wolves get enough in return?
MOORE: This thing was a mess for Minnesota for nearly a year. The Wolves bungled the situation in the summer like a child having a Roman candle go off in his hands. But this move puts some salve on the burn.
They essentially traded Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen for Saric, Covington, Bayless and the pick. That’s not great return but it isn’t bad, either.
WOB: This is honestly not even close to the doomsday scenario I had imagined it would be.
I do not believe for a second that Thibs didn’t want to trade Butler to another team in the West. It’s just a fallback to justify the trade, because the Wolves — or any team Butler would’ve gone to in the West — are not beating the Golden State Warriors in a seven-game series.
The other rumored trades we heard of: Four first-rounders from the Rockets probably protected through the 31st century by Daryl Morey and his CBA-bending dark magic mind + Michael Carter-Stanley from The Office. This was never a real trade, in my opinion.
Then there were the Lakers rumors, but those seemed like a stretch, too. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can’t be traded until Dec. 15, so even if the Lakers wanted to dangle Brandon Ingram and use up their hard-earned cap space on Jimmy — they don’t have any tradable contracts to pair with him.
They 100% took the best deal available to them.
MOORE: Yup. Saric and Covington combined don’t have nearly the value of Butler, but they are way better fits around Karl-Anthony Towns.
Covington gives Minnesota a combo forward who can shoot and switch. He was No. 1 in DRAPM last year, and is a good floor-spacer.
Saric can hit from deep and is really good in transition. He’s also a willing ball-handler.
The Wolves now have all the pieces of a modern offense. They just need a modern coach.
The Wolves should look to deal for Taj Gibson right away, and look to add another shooter for when Derrick Rose returns to being post-2012 Derrick Rose.
WOB: To me, this feels like a wash for the Timberwolves, an official declaration that they’re betting everything on Towns and Andrew Wiggins, which they already did transactionally but not on the court.
Meanwhile, it’s a huge W for the 76ers. I don’t know how Jimmy fits into this 76ers offense yet or if he’ll jive with the #TrustTheProcess cult, but he is an elite talent, he’s in house, and you’ve got plenty of time to figure it out.
MOORE: Yeah, this is the all-in move the Sixers needed to make.