Jimmy Butler joins Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to form one of the top core's in the NBA.

By Kaelen Jones
November 12, 2018

In the official press release announcing Philadelphia's acquisition of Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler, Sixers general manager Elton Brand explained how the 76ers have a championship window "centered around the continued progression of our talented young core, as well as our ability to add elite players who elevate our program."

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Brand continued: "In Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, we have two of the NBA's top 20 players. Now, we've added a third top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, who is one of the NBA's very best at both ends of the floor."

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There is currently no unanimously-recognized statistic which solely defines an NBA player as a top-20 performer. For what it's worth, Simmons was ranked 26th in Sports Illustrated's 2019 NBA Top 100 ahead of the season. Butler was ranked 10th and Embiid was ranked ninth.

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There are myriad advanced metrics, such as PER (Embiid, 17th; Butler, 29th; Simmons, 52nd), and simpler stats, such as points per game (Embiid, 4th; Butler, 20th; Simmons, 70th) that help make a case for whether or not Brand's statement is true.

What is true, however, is that the Sixers sit in third place in the Eastern Conference and are adding a four-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA player and four-time All-Defensive performer to their roster. That sounds good.

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