Sweet baby Jesus it happened. It finally happened! The Man’s Man Jimmy ‘Buckets’ Butler has been traded to the Houston Rockets. My bad, the Miami Heat. Wait, is it the Los Angeles Clippers? The Brooklyn Nets?? The Knicks???
No, none of the teams he said he wanted to be traded to were the recipients. Instead, the good ol’ Philadelphia 76ers pulled the trigger, and were able to offer exactly what the Timber-Bulls wanted. Did they match the ludicrous 4 pick offer from Houston? Or the 2 rising stars from Miami? Or even whatever 18 players the Clippers said were available?
…well, no. They just sent 2 starters (a 3 and D wing in Robert Covington, and a slow stretch 4 in Dario Saic), one bench point guard (Jerryd Bayless), and a 2022 second round pick.
…so, it seems like Philly won the trade then, right? Who else did they get in the trade? Were the Timber-Bulls able to dump Dieng’s ridiculous contract? That would really help Philly address their weak center/big man rotation in light of them trading Saric.
…um…no again. They actually traded Justin Patton (the center the drafted 2 years ago), and…nothing else? No second round pick? No scrub at the end of the bench?
…well jeez, this is…um…slightly underwhelming.
I mean, Jimmy Butler did get traded, and he did go to the ‘weak’ East. He’s on a title contender, and he will get his super max deal he wants. But…both teams got worse in the long run.
Don’t get me wrong, Philly decided to up their team in the arms race that the East has become. They are (in my mock power rankings) tied for 4th in the East with the Pacers (Raptors, Celtics, Bucks, Pacers-76ers, Hornets, Heat-Pistons). But they didn’t address the Fultz issue. The 76ers rotation is now as follows:
– PG – Fultz
– SG – Reddick
– SF – Butler
– PF – Simmons
– C – Embiid
– 6th – Shamet
-Bench – Muscala, Johnson
For anyone that doesn’t really follow 76er basketball, they were using Saric as a backup center in conjunction with Muscala, but both were 4’s. Johnson is slow and old. And without Covington, they have no true replacement 3-4 defensive player after Simmons. Picking up Patton (who is hurt right now) doesn’t scream smart to me, especially since reports have been coming out that people in Minnesota have not been wowed by him. But Philly’s defense is still legit.
On the topic of defense, let’s talk about Minnesota. We are finally over this saga…until both teams play each other. But besides that, Minnesota got worse in the short and long term because of this deal. This deal also shows how inept their front office is at this point. As stated in the beginning of this article, they could have had their choice of packages. They even had 4 first round picks on the table to help them with their inevitable rebuilding process they will be going into after this season. You know it, I know, everyone else knows it…besides the Timber-Bulls organization. I mean, look at their new rotation:
– PG – Rose
– SG – Wiggins
– SF – Covington
– PF – Saric
– C – Towns
– 6th – Gibson
– Bench – Bayless (until Teague is healthy), Deng, Jones/Dieng/Tolliver
This lineup can’t compete. At all. They have two guys that can play D in the starting lineup, and only one that can off the bench. This is assuming that they actually can play more than 7 people in a game. This team is atrocious. But hey at least they got that coveted 2022 pick…in the 2nd round. I have no words for this organization besides this: you’re an embarrassment.
But hey, good job Philly. You got a steal in the short-term, and it helps your title odds. Hopefully this pays off in the long run.