MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Caught off guard by the Philadelphia 76ers’ blockbuster commerce for Jimmy Butler, All-Star heart Joel Embiid acquired in contact with two of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ younger stars to hunt their opinions on his new teammate.
While Butler’s remaining months in Minnesota had been removed from harmonious, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins expressed optimism to Embiid concerning the four-time All-Star’s slot in Philadelphia.
Who wins the Butler commerce? Kevin Pelton grades the deal.
The Timberwolves have agreed to commerce Jimmy Butler to the 76ers, league sources informed ESPN. Butler and the Sixers are hopeful to succeed in a deal on a long-term contract this summer time, sources mentioned.
“They thought that he was going to be good for us,” Embiid informed ESPN after a 112-106 additional time loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday evening. “They thought that we had been undoubtedly going to get alongside. He desires to win. Wiggs informed me that he thought that we had been going to win the East for positive.”
The 76ers and Timberwolves agreed to a deal that will ship Butler and ahead Justin Patton to Philadelphia for forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round decide, sources informed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. A name with the league workplace to finalize the commerce is anticipated to occur Monday.
Embiid mentioned he doesn’t have a private relationship with Butler, who pushed his approach out of Minnesota, telling Timberwolves administration that he wished to be traded days earlier than coaching camp started. Embiid mentioned he deliberate to textual content Butler on Saturday evening.
Philadelphia star level guard Ben Simmons had a quick dialog with Butler on Saturday, coming away satisfied that the swingman is “going to slot in” with the 8-6 Sixers.
“He mentioned he simply desires to win,” Simmons mentioned earlier than Saturday evening’s recreation. “I believe that is the mindset all of us have right here. We’re excited to get Jimmy in right here.”
Simmons mentioned there may be “a tragic facet to it,” referring to the departures of common teammates who helped the 76ers advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals final season. Embiid was additionally hit arduous emotionally particularly by the departures of Covington and Saric, key members of the Philadelphia beginning 5 that had one of the best plus-minus of any lineup within the NBA final season.
“I miss Dario and Cov,” mentioned Embiid, who informed ESPN that he “virtually teared up” after studying concerning the commerce. “They gave us lots the previous couple of years. I felt like we had been beginning to play very well collectively and determine it out. Dario was discovering himself once more, and Cov is first-team all-defense, doing his job and flattening photographs. I felt like we had been beginning to like actually determine it out and play effectively collectively.
“But it is a enterprise. Gotta transfer on. Love these guys. Wish them luck. I miss them, I like them. Gotta keep up a correspondence with them.”
However, Embiid and Simmons each expressed pleasure concerning the Sixers’ potential with the addition of Butler, who’s averaging 21.three factors, 5.2 rebounds and 4.three assists this season, just like the numbers he posted throughout All-Star campaigns the earlier 4 years.
“You add one other All-Star to the workforce, undoubtedly,” Simmons mentioned. “A man like him who can are available in, rating the ball, veteran management, expertise — he is going to slot in right here. Our tradition is successful, enjoying collectively as a workforce and enjoying arduous. I believe he’ll convey that.”
Added Embiid: “I believe he’ll assist us lots — offensively and particularly defensively, too. I believe he is among the best defensive gamers within the league. I’m excited to see the place he takes us and the way a lot better we will look.”
Simmons acknowledged that the 76ers would undergo an adjustment interval after including Butler — “Hopefully, it is faster than anticipated” — however he downplayed issues about meshing with one other ball-dominant participant.
“It’s not going to have an effect on my recreation,” Simmons mentioned. “I understand how to play, wherever you need me on the ground. But on the identical time, I do know what I’m good at, I do know what I can do on the ground. Him coming in helps us, provides one other scorer on the market, one other vet who can play the sport the best approach. He’s going to slot in with us.”
Embiid agreed, saying that the Sixers’ system emphasizes ball motion, so including one other scorer should not scale back his or Simmons’ touches.
“We’re going to determine it out,” Embiid mentioned. “I’m positive he is coming in right here keen to slot in, so we will determine it out.”
Simmons anticipates that the Sixers’ Big Three would develop chemistry primarily based on a typical bond.
“Between me, Jo and Jimmy, all of us have that related mindset,” Simmons mentioned. “We hate shedding. That pisses us off. We need to win.”
Butler has reportedly had chemistry points with teammates with the Chicago Bulls and Timberwolves. Butler, 29, has developed a fame for being significantly robust on younger teammates who he would not consider work arduous sufficient or care sufficient about successful.
The 24-year-old Embiid and 22-year-old Simmons kind maybe the NBA’s most gifted younger tandem. They have additionally confirmed they will win, main the 76ers to 52 victories final season.
Embiid, who embraces being the face of the Philadelphia franchise, mentioned he will not thoughts being confronted by Butler so long as it is in one of the best curiosity of the workforce.
“If it is one thing I ought to do and it should make me better, then sure, that is nice,” Embiid informed ESPN. “I need to win. I believe all people within the league is aware of that I’m a competitor and I need to win. … If it is helpful for me and for the workforce, then no downside. But if it is one thing that I do not assume goes to be good for this franchise, then that is not okay. I believe all people is aware of that I say no matter I need, no matter involves my thoughts. I haven’t got no downside doing that.
“But I’m excited having him. I believe we are able to construct one thing particular. I’m excited to go on the market and play and have another person assist carry the load. Hopefully, we make it to the Finals and have a shot on the title.”