SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the Minnesota Timberwolves trading Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Head coach Brett Brown apologized when asked before the 76ers played the Grizzlies. “I can’t speak much about it. I’m sorry,” Brown said in Memphis.
Despite his coach’s reticence, Ben Simmons didn’t hesitate to address the blockbuster deal when he was asked. The star point guard said he’s looking forward to playing with Butler and expressed optimism the team’s culture would appeal to the four-time All-Star.
“A guy like him, who can come in and score the ball. Veteran leadership, experience. He’s going to fit in here,” Simmons said. ” Our culture is winning, playing together as a team and playing hard. I think he’s going to bring that.”
Philadelphia agreed Saturday to send Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and a future second-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Butler and Justin Patton. The trade ended the weeks-long drama that hovered over the T’wolves locker room since Butler demanded a trade before training camp.
Butler is a two-time All-NBA selection and four-time All-Defensive Team pick who should fill needs for the 76ers on both ends of the floor. In top form, Butler is the type of two-way force who could pair with Simmons and Joel Embiid to vault an already-promising Philadelphia squad to the top of the Eastern Conference.
The trade is reportedly expected to be finalized on Monday after the players involved take physicals. Butler would then likely make his 76ers debut Wednesday against the Magic in Orlando.
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