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Timberwolves are trading Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia 76ers

Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic are reporting that the Sixers are sending Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and a 2022 second-round pick in exchange for Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton.

This is a major statement by the Sixers and it’s the first splashy move by their new general manager, Elton Brand. The Sixers sit at 7-5 this season. They haven’t played their best basketball. They’re hoping that Butler’s talent and competitive fire can help lift this team to new heights. Brett Brown has three superstars to work with. In addition to Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are approaching superstar levels in their own right.

The Eastern Conference doesn’t look nearly as bad as it did prior to the season. The Sixers are now a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention, the Raptors, Celtics, and Bucks all look poised to battle it out for a trip to the NBA Finals. In short, the Jimmy Butler trade shakes up the power balance in the East, and can be very valuable for the Sixers from the jump.

Conversely, Tom Thibodeau got what he wanted for the Timberwolves. The always stubborn Thibs wanted a return that would help him win now rather than stockpile assets to prepare for the future. Robert Covington and Dario Saric are two legitimate starters that Thibodeau can insert into the lineup immediately.

Whether Covington and Saric can make up for the loss of a superstar like Butler remains to be seen. Regardless, Thibodeau got his wish and now he’s going to try to help his Timberwolves navigate the stacked Western Conference.