Covington hasn't heard from Sixers general manager Elton Brand since the trade.

By Kaelen Jones
January 07, 2019

The NBA world was stunned when the Philadelphia 76ers pulled off a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for disgruntled star Jimmy Butler. But perhaps more confounded by the deal was Robert Covington, who told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sarah Todd that he found out he was being included in the exchange through social media.

“I found out on social media,” Covington said. “It was like five minutes before the team meeting, then Brett [Brown, the Sixers' coach] called me and E.B. [general manager Elton Brand] called me, but I already knew. By then it was already out there. That’s how I found out.”

Covington, who spent four-plus seasons with the Sixers, was scrolling through feeds on his phone ahead of a game against the Grizzlies on Nov. 10. He clicked a link and saw the details of the trade, which shipped him, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick to Minnesota for Butler and Justin Patton.

The seventh-year pro said that Brown's call telling him he'd be moved was "really clear-cut and dry."

“As far as having that respect level, and for how much we’d been through, I would have thought it had to be completely different," Covington said. "But it wasn’t. Considering how much time relationship-wise and everything that went down. ... It was weird."

Covington told The Inquirer that since being traded he has communicated with Brown via text, but has not spoken with Brand. He doesn't have hard feelings about being traded, but how the trade was handled left "a bitter taste in his mouth."

“I was told over the summer that there was no chance that I would be traded,” Covington said. “But things happen. I talked to Brett numerous times. At the same time, you saw everything that transpired with Kawhi [Leonard] and DeMar [DeRozan], so anything can happen.”

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