Philly gets its star

Philly sends Saric, Cov­ing­ton to Min­nesota for dis­grun­tled star.

The Times-Tribune - - SPORTS - BY DAN GELSTON

Six­ers com­plete their Big Three, deal­ing for Jimmy Butler to pair with Em­biid, Sim­mons.

Jimmy Butler has his wish: He’s out of Min­nesota.

And just like that, Philadel­phia has a new Big Three — one that could make se­ri­ous noise in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

A per­son with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion said Satur­day that Butler is be­ing traded to the 76ers in a pack­age that will send Dario Saric and Robert Cov­ing­ton to the Tim­ber­wolves. The per­son spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the trade had not yet been an­nounced by ei­ther team and was still pend­ing NBA ap­proval, which might not come un­til Mon­day.

Justin Pat­ton will also be sent to Philadel­phia, and Jar­ryd Bay­less and a 2022 sec­ond-round pick are also go­ing to Min­nesota, the per­son said.

The Ath­letic first re­ported the agree­ment.

Philadel­phia’s “Process” led it to the sec­ond round of the playoffs last sea­son be­hind two of the game’s youngest, bright­est stars in big man Joel Em­biid and point guard Ben Sim­mons. Butler, an elite wing and out­stand­ing de­fender, will join them in a quest to rule the Eastern Con­fer­ence now that Lebron James has left that league to join the Los Angeles Lak­ers fol­low­ing eight straight trips to the NBA Fi­nals with Mi­ami and Cleve­land.

The first or­der of busi­ness will be mak­ing the trade of­fi­cial, some­thing that could come in time to get Butler in uni­form for a game at Mi­ami on Mon­day. The next step for Philadel­phia will be coming to an agree­ment on an ex­ten­sion for Butler, a pend­ing free agent who made clear to Min­nesota that he would not be re­sign­ing there in 2019.

Butler has been mis­er­able in Min­nesota, and the Tim­ber­wolves have got­ten off to a lousy start wait­ing for this in­evitable move to hap­pen. Min­nesota just fin­ished an 0-5 road trip with a loss in Sacra­mento on Fri­day night and is 4-9 over­all — win­less in eight games on the road.

Butler, 29, has been an All-star in each of the last four sea­sons.

Philadel­phia will be­come Butler’s third team, af­ter Chicago and Min­nesota. He’s a ca­reer 16.5 point-pergame scorer.

Saric is in his third sea­son and av­er­ag­ing 11.1 points, shoot­ing only 36 per­cent. Cov­ing­ton had been a starter for Philadel­phia for the bulk of the last four­plus sea­sons and is av­er­ag­ing 11.3 points per game this year.


Jimmy Butler, right, is headed to Philadel­phia, end­ing the weeks-long saga of him want­ing out of Min­nesota.

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