Nazim Trammell-Wells | Staff Writer
The Philadelphia 76ers shook up the NBA scene by trading for All-Star guard Jimmy Butler.
Many experts – such as Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, Charles Barkley and Jalen Rose – now give the Sixers a serious shot to win the Eastern Conference title.
Philadelphia already had budding stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The knock on the Sixers was they needed a third option who was a reliable perimeter scorer and defender. Many believe that is exactly what Butler brings to the table.
“Jimmy is one of the best two-way players in the league,” Hampton junior Bryce Burford said. “He isn’t the exact perimeter threat the critics said they needed, but I think they got the best deal they possibly could.”
“I think Jimmy just wants to win, and he became irritated with the immaturity in the locker room.” -Justin Norris
Since the addition of Butler, the Sixers have gone 8-2, and Butler has hit game-winners against the Charlotte Hornets and the Brooklyn Nets. He’s also has been averaging 18.6 points per game.
Acquiring the superstar was not easy. Butler had wanted to be traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves since last summer. ESPN reported he desired to go to the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets.
“I think Jimmy just wants to win, and he became irritated with the immaturity in the locker room,” said Justin Norris, an avid NBA fan. “Different players had different agendas, and Jimmy had one thing on his mind – winning.”
More than a month into the season, the Timberwolves struck a deal with the Sixers, trading promising Croatian player Dario Saric, Robert Covington and a first-round pick in exchange for Butler.
Once Butler got to the city, he was relieved and got right to work, helping the Sixers to improve to 16-8.
Butler, who will be a free agent this summer, has been questioned recently about his long-term plans and if the Sixers are involved.
“This is a helluva locker room and helluva staff. I could see this being home,” a tweet from @PompeyOnSixers quoted Butler as saying.
Things are going well in Philadelphia right now, but be wary.
Butler has been on three teams in three years.