• Jimmy Butler got his wish to leave Minnesota but did he land in the right situation in Philadelphia? The Open Floor podcast debates.
By Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver
November 13, 2018

The Jimmy Butler saga finally came to an end this past weekend, as the Timberwolves shipped the four-time All-Star to the 76ers. While the debacle lasted longer than anyone anticipated, did Butler land in an ideal situation in Philly? The Open Floor podcast debates.

(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Ben Golliver: Now that Jimmy Butler made his big power play, if you want to call it that, how did he do? His landing spot is with Embiid and Simmons and not a ton else. There are big expectations in Philly and you have Markelle Fultz hanging out in one corner of the locker room hoping no one calls his name. How did Jimmy Butler’s power play work out for him?

Andrew Sharp: I think for Jimmy this is a win. I really do. For whatever reason, we do not talk about Philly as a big market but it is, and his imprint is going to be bigger there instead of going somewhere like Houston—granted Houston is kind of home for Jimmy. But this is a win and he is on a team that has the talent to contend for a title and a lot of that depends on Ben Simmons.

A lot of people have looked at this trade and said, ‘Well Philly has three Top 20 NBA players now’. Ben Simmons, we haven’t talked about much because Fultz has been such a disaster but Simmons hasn’t been a Top 20 guy throughout the first month of basketball. His game has regressed from where he was at last March and he is not even attempting to shoot outside the lane, so there are real concerns to be made about him. I think in general, there is at last an opportunity to make a conference finals run and challenge for a title and that is way better than what Jimmy was going to get in Minnesota.

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Ben Golliver: It’s definitely a better market. It’s definitely a better front office. I would say better coach. I would say better star players with him but I also think his set up there and we already seen Karl-Anthony Towns play the me or him game—that is essentially what happened in terms of contract negotiations right? It kind of boiled down to that. 

Shouldn’t Simmons have that same playbook next summer? If they are going to max out Jimmy and give out all of this money, if I am Simmons, that is not what I signed up for. Simmons views himself a No. 1 overall player, a franchise level guy, the next LeBron, he doesn’t view himself as the No. 3 guy on a team that hasn’t really made a deep playoff run yet right? Neither has Jimmy. Jimmy’s whole thing with the list of teams he picked, they all were going to make him the man right? He’s not the man in Philly.

He’s going to be the third most popular guy on that Philly team and if it doesn’t work, he is going to take a lot of the blame because you know the 76ers fans are not going to say a single negative thing about Embiid and we know they are going to protect Ben before they protect Jimmy no questions about it. So how is he going to react to that? I will be curious as well.

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