Rumors: Jimmy Butler expected to make Sixers debut Wednesday vs. Magic
The Jimmy Butler saga with the Minnesota Timberwolves is finally over, and now the superstar looks to get off on the right foot with the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the earliest the Sixers could have Butler in the lineup is on Wednesday when they take on Eastern Conference cellar dwellers, the Orlando Magic.
The delay is due in large part thanks to pending physicals and the need to finalize the deal through the NBA’s league office. The Sixers would not mind the wait. They finally secured that third star to trot out alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. They whiffed on last year’s free-agent targets, most notably LeBron James.
They weren’t willing to leave next summer up to chance. By trading for Butler, they ensure that they won’t miss out on a top-level talent in free agency.
The key for Brett Brown’s squad is figuring out who can step out on the perimeter and keep the defense honest. Obviously, J.J. Redick is a deadly threat from beyond the arc, but he’s the only member of the Philly core that is consistent from deep. Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons are no threats at all. Joel Embiid is a willing shooter, but he’s not an efficient one. Butler can stroke it from deep, but he’s more of a shot creator than a catch-and-shoot threat.
But despite questions that still need answers, the Sixers made an aggressive move to lock down their third star. They can fill in the blanks at a later date.