Jimmy Butler go­ing to 76ers from Min­nesota

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Dan Gelston AP Sports Writer

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 is not ex­pected un­til Mon­day.

Justin Pat­ton will also be sent to Philadel­phia, and Jer­ryd 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 re-sign­ing there in 2019.

Trans­lated: The Wolves had to trade him, or they would lose him for noth­ing over the summer.

There has been Butler drama ev­ery step of the way this sea­son.

ESPN re­ported that at his first prac­tice with Min­nesota this fall, Butler ver­bally chal­lenged play­ers, coaches and gen­eral man­ager Scott Lay­den while dom­i­nat­ing in scrim­mages, even when go­ing up against stars like Karl-An­thony Towns and An­drew Wig­gins.

Butler said the re­port was true.

“All my emo­tion came out at one time,” Butler told ESPN later that day. “Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t con­trol that when I’m out there com­pet­ing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me. Me at my finest, me at my purest. That’s what you’re go­ing to get in­side the lines.”

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

STEVE YEATER - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Min­nesota Tim­ber­wolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) bat­tles for po­si­tion against Sacra­mento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) dur­ing the first half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game in Sacra­mento, Calif., Fri­day, Nov. 9, 2018.

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