The Minnesota Timberwolves shook up the NBA on Saturday afternoon by agreeing to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package headlined by Dario Saric and Robert Covington.
Butler initially requested a trade from the Timberwolves in September after playing just one season with the franchise. Butler, who spent the first six years of his NBA career in Chicago with the Bulls, was traded to Minnesota in 2017 in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen. He helped lead the Wolves to their first playoff appearance in over a decade last season, but he had friction with the young players on the Wolves - namely Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. He had turned down a contract extension offer from the Wolves over the offseason.
In Philadelphia, Butler will join a young, up-and-coming contender built around two All-Star-caliber players in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. On paper at least, Butler projects to be a solid on-court complement to both players, and if the three are able to gel, they could form one of the league's most potent trios.
Needless to say, NBA Twitter was on fire after news of the trade broke. Scroll below to see what NBA media members had to say about the deal.
Butler is probably a happy camper
After requesting a trade out of Minnesota well over a month ago, Butler is probably pretty happy that his wish was finally granted, and on top of that, he gets to join a young, up-and-coming contender in Philadelphia.
“Here’s the 1st draft of your full-page ad thanking the Wolves for—-“— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) November 10, 2018
Jimmy Butler: pic.twitter.com/aJnrorZXig
Carson Wentz welcomed Butler to Philly
After news of the trade broke, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz took to Twitter to welcome Jimmy Butler to "the best sports city in America."
Welcome to the best sports city in America @JimmyButler ! #76ers https://t.co/qrT9FaOSJE— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) November 10, 2018
NBA fans are the real winners of the trade
There will be a lot of conversation about who won the trade between the 76ers and Timberwolves, but the real winners of the deal were NBA fans thanks to all of the new content created, as Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie pointed out.
Let’s all just take a moment and realize that NBA fans won this Philly/Minny trade. I have seen some priceless twitter content and we’re only an hour into it 🤣— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) November 10, 2018
Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins are smiling somewhere
Two people that are probably happy that Jimmy Butler is no longer a member of the Timberwolves are Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins, who both had a tumultuous relationship with Butler during their time together in Minnesota.
Andrew Wiggins and KAT after seeing Jimmy Butler was traded to the Sixers pic.twitter.com/ibj5LVSwme— What the Sports (@realwtsports) November 10, 2018
The trash talk in Philly will be top notch
Embiid and Butler are two of the better trash-talkers in the league, and now together on the same team, they will be able to do some serious damage when it comes to talking trash.
Butler is going to give Embiid so much extra material for him to say to KAT on the court. The trash talk from JoJo will be brutal.— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) November 10, 2018
Houston's offer wasn't enough
The fact that the Timberwolves turned down four future first-rounders for Butler from the Houston Rockets and then traded him for no future firsts confused some people.
So the Rockets offered 4 first round picks for Jimmy Butler and Minny settled for Saric and Covington? pic.twitter.com/UXdZIJpuCY— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) November 10, 2018
Mark these dates on the calendar
Jimmy Butler will play against the Timberwolves - as a Sixer - for the first time when the Sixers host the Wolves on January 15. He will make his return trip to Minnesota on March 30th. Both games will be must-watch basketball.
The Sixers host the Timberwolves on Jan. 15th. Butler’s return to Minnesota will be March 30th.— The Sixer Sense (@SixerSense) November 10, 2018
The 2019 Eastern Conference playoffs will be lit
With four teams that all look like they could legitimately come out of the conference early on (Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee) the Eastern Conference playoffs promise to be pretty exciting this season.
Me watching the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals. pic.twitter.com/ueA1ZskQom— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) November 10, 2018
The dynamic in Philly will be interesting
Jimmy Butler has a history of not necessarily getting along with his young, talented teammates, and now he's joining a team that starts two lottery picks that struggle to shoot. What could go wrong?
Jimmy Butler when he sees Fultz and Simmons shooting in practice pic.twitter.com/gjAoAd55Aj— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) November 10, 2018