LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Minnesota Timberwolves are ending the drama surrounding Jimmy Butler after agreeing to trade the disgruntled superstar to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to an ESPN report on Saturday.
Details of the trade, reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, were not disclosed. Wojnarowski reported that the league trade call and physicals are scheduled for today, and the earliest Butler will make his team debut likely will be Wednesday night when the 76ers visit the Orlando Magic.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Minnesota will receive forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington, guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick.
The 76ers will also reportedly receive center Justin Patton from the Timberwolves.
Butler has averaged 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals through 10 games this season.
The Sixers, who struck out in free agency this summer in their search for a third star to add to the team’s core of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, apparently hope that the four-time All-Star Butler can be that player.
If the fit works, the 76ers will have the ability to offer a max contract to Butler next summer in free agency once he opts out of his current deal.
Simmons said he spoke to Butler and believes the new plan will work.
“He said he just wants to win,” Simmons said after Saturday night’s loss at Memphis. “I think that’s the mindset we all have here. We’re excited to get Jimmy in here.”
Butler, 29, requested a trade during the preseason and told Minnesota he plans to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Minnesota president and coach Tom Thibodeau, who also coached Butler with the Chicago Bulls, initially pushed back against the player’s trade demands. But ESPN reported that Thibodeau changed his mind late Friday after his team’s fifth loss in a row.
Despite the trade drama hanging around the Timberwolves and staining the start to their season thus far, Embiid reportedly reached out to Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins for their take on Butler.
“They thought that he was going to be good for us,” Embiid said to ESPN after the Grizzlies game. “They thought that we were definitely going to get along. He wants to win. Wiggs told me that he thought that we were going to win the East for sure.”