Sixers officially acquire Jimmy Butler in trade with Timberwolves
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand announced today that the team has acquired four-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Philadelphia also received Justin Patton in the deal, while Minnesota received Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Šarić and a 2022 second-round draft pick in exchange for Butler and Patton.
“We have a championship window that’s centered around the continued progression of our talented young core, as well as our ability to add elite players who elevate our program,” Brand said. “In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA’s top 20 players. Now, we’ve added a third top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the NBA’s very best on both ends of the floor. This move further strengthens our pursuit of a championship and gives us a formidable combination to take on the league’s top teams.
“With this trade, we’re also excited to welcome Justin to the organization and look forward to his contributions in the coming months. I want to thank Cov, Dario and Jerryd for all they did for this team. They are friends, former teammates and well respected in our locker room. We’ll miss them, but I’m confident they’ll continue to excel in their careers.”
Butler, who has been selected an NBA All-Star in each of the past four seasons, has appeared in 10 games (all starts) this season with Minnesota, averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals (third in the NBA) in 36.1 minutes per game. Last season, he was one of six players league-wide to post averages of at least 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists, joining DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. A veteran of seven NBA seasons, Butler was originally selected by Chicago with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft following a three-year collegiate career at Marquette.
“Jimmy Butler is one of the NBA’s very best two-way players and he is a tremendous addition to the 76ers roster,” Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris said. “His scoring prowess, tenacity on defense and overall competitiveness are perfect fits alongside Joel, Ben and our talented roster. By acquiring Jimmy, Elton Brand did a terrific job in further positioning our team for long-term success. I also want to wish Robert, Dario and Jerryd continued success in their NBA careers. They were true professionals and great teammates during their time here.”
In all, Butler has seen action in 468 career games (363 starts) with Chicago and Minnesota and holds averages of 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32.9 minutes per game. Butler’s teams have qualified for the playoffs in six of his seven NBA seasons. A native of Texas, Butler has been named to the All-NBA Third Team each of the past two seasons, in addition to earning All-Defensive Second Team honors four times in his career (2017-18, 2013-16).
Following the 2014-15 season, his fourth NBA campaign, Butler was named the league’s Most Improved Player as he saw his averages jump across the board, including a scoring hike from 13.1 points to 20.0 points per game. Internationally, Butler was a member of the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, which compiled an 8-0 record en route to a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Patton was originally selected by Chicago with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft before being traded to Minnesota on draft night. He played one collegiate season at Creighton.
“The future of the 76ers organization got even brighter today with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton,” Philadelphia 76ers Co-Managing Partner David Blitzer said. “Jimmy Butler is one of the NBA’s truly elite players, a player capable of changing the game on both ends of the floor. We’re excited that he’s now a Sixer as we continue our quest of winning an NBA title. I also want to thank Robert, Dario and Jerryd for all they did during their time in Philadelphia. They are consummate professionals; great players and they truly embraced our city and fans. We were fortunate to have them as members of our organization and I wish them continued success.”
Covington played in 297 games (258 starts) for Philadelphia over four-plus seasons after initially signing with the team in November 2014, following a stint with Houston. He averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 steals over 30.1 minutes of action per game in a 76ers uniform. He shot .359 percent from three-point range and is one of two 76ers ever to make at least 200 three-pointers in a season, connecting on 203 in 2017-18. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team at the end of last season after he led the league in deflections and finished sixth in total steals.
Šarić was originally selected by Orlando with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft before being traded to Philadelphia in a draft night deal. After signing with the 76ers in July 2016, he played two-plus NBA seasons with the team, posting averages of 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 28.1 minutes per game. Šarić was named to the All-Rookie First Team following the 2016-17 season.
Bayless joined the 76ers as a free agent in July 2016. He saw action in 42 games (12 starts) over two seasons, posting 8.1 points per game.