The Minnesota Timberwolves finally found a trade partner for Jimmy Butler in the Philadelphia 76ers. The league is expected to finalize the deal early this week and get Butler on his way back to the Eastern Conference.
Before everything went down with Philadelphia, the question on the lips of just about everyone in the NBA was why something hadn’t happened sooner regarding Butler. Between the Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat, there appeared to be suitors abound.
Rumored offers notwithstanding, one team that reportedly tried to get into the mix was the New Orleans Pelicans.
According to a report from ESPN, the Pelicans tried to get Butler in conversations with the Wolves, but rebuffed when Minnesota asked for Jrue Holiday back in return.
Minnesota desperately tried to cobble together trade offers in the past week, including extensive discussions with New Orleans, league sources said. The Pelicans are limited on tradeable assets, but desperate to find star power to keep Anthony Davis for the long run. The Pelicans wouldn’t include point guard Jrue Holiday in its offer, nor multiple draft picks, league sources said.
Robert Covington and Dario Saric were the eventual package that the Timberwolves got in exchange for Butler, which is completely reasonable and helps Minnesota be less top-heavy with their rotations moving forward.
Asking for Holiday and multiple picks seems like a bit of a stretch, but it’s not surprising given the rumored negotiating tactics by the Timberwolves front office over the course of this entire saga.
Good for New Orleans for not budging on Holiday, even as the rumor of Anthony Davis potentially exiting their franchise via a trade demand seems to be ramping up lately.
I don’t know how Butler will fit with the Sixers, but I’m glad this story appears to have reached its final chapter.