PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers made a deal for Minnesota Timberwolves’ star Jimmy Butler, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that the deal includes Philadelphia’s Robert Covington and Dario Saric, among other players.
The 76ers will also send guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second round pick to Minnesota for Butler and Justin Patton.
Butler, 29, requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves over the summer. While Minnesota and the Miami Heat were often linked in trade talks, no deal ever came to fruition. Butler also famously went on a preseason rampage against teammates during practice in Minnesota. Despite the the trade request and practice tirade, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau wanted to hang on to Butler as long as possible.
Through 10 games this season, Butler is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Butler has been named to the NBA all-star team four times, including last season.
While the Sixers will acquire a much-coveted third star to play with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, they will lose two starters in Covington and Saric. Covington, averaged 11 points, five rebounds and 1 assist in 13 games with the Sixers this season. Saric got off to a rough start this season, but has played well over the team’s last three contests. He is averaging 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
After missing out on other high-profile players like Paul George (Oklahoma City) and LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), the Sixers headed into the 2018-19 season “star-hunting” as head coach Brett Brown said.
Butler’s under contract through the end of the season, but Wojnarowski also said that the Sixers and Butler both believe they will agree on a new contract over the summer.
The deal is expected to become official on Monday.