After a long battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, Jimmy Butler was granted his wish. The Timberwolves traded Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for forwards Robert Covington, Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick. Butler is now a part of a 76ers team who should compete for the Eastern Conference crown. On paper, the 76ers’ starting lineup looks formidable. Butler joins Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick. But, there are some downsides to this trade.
The Bad Side of the Jimmy Butler Trade
When superstar players join a team, chemistry will always be a problem. The 76ers’ offense is 10th in the NBA, averaging 112.4 points per game. Butler’s average of 21.3 points per game could be a great addition. Butler could average more with the 76ers, but at what cost. Butler’s game could lessen the young players around him, at least for a while. The 76ers will have to cater to Butler to fit him in quickly. Their offense could take a hit, which could lead to fewer victories. Although chemistry will develop in the long run, more pressure will be on the 76ers to win now.
Ben Simmons Will Take a Backseat
Butler is a ball-dominate player. On almost any roster, he should be the number one option. With Butler on the 76ers, possessions will decrease for Simmons. He is a player who needs the ball in his hands. Simmons is a fantastic play-maker averaging 14.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. He is still developing as a scorer. Now that Butler is on the roster, Simmons will have to become the fourth option on offense. Butler will slow down his progression on offense. Also, Butler can be a questionable teammate at times. The jury is still out on whether he can elevate the players around him.
Butler is a Toxic Teammate
Butler is viewed as a somewhat toxic player. Although Butler is very vocal and tough, he is a rough teammate to have. The Timberwolves’ problems all centered around Butler after he publicly criticizes his former teammates Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins over the summer. Also, a few years ago, Butler admitted he was at odds with former teammate Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah when they were with the Chicago Bulls. If Simmons or Markelle Fultz struggle, will Butler treat them the same way? Butler’s work ethic and drive elevate him into elite status but he has rubbed a lot of his teammates the wrong way. Butler’s attitude stunted the growth of the Bulls and the Timberwolves.
His Future with the 76ers
Butler is one of the great talents in the NBA. He has worked hard to earn his stripes. But, part of Butler’s failures falls on him. His drive to win has not transferred to others around him. Publicly calling out his teammates and organization has not sat well with players. If Butler wants to win a championship, he will need to relax and solve problems internally. Otherwise, Simmons and Embiid, two guys who are the future of the 76ers, will turn on him and Butler will have ruined a third NBA franchise.
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