Minnesota Timberwolves Trade Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia 76ers

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News of Butler's imminent arrival in Philadelphia prompted Las Vegas bookmakers to slice the Sixers odds of challenging for the National Basketball Association championship.

The tumultuous tenure of Jimmy Butler on the Minnesota Timberwolves came to a close Saturday as The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the All-Star is heading to the Philadelphia 76ers. However, negotiations can not commence until Butler opts out of the final year of his current deal.

They sit in third place in the Eastern Conference behind front runners the Toronto Raptors and second-placed Milwaukee Bucks, who feature Australians Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker.

Butler will now team up with young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, greatly improving the 76ers' perimeter defence and bolstering their chances of a deep playoff run.

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Butler, a shooting guard and small forward, is an elite scorer and defender.

The 76ers will send key members Robert Covington and Dario Saric to Minnesota in the deal. Philadelphia and Minnesota will swap injured players Jerryd Bayless and Justin Patton as well, as part of the deal that will reportedly be finalized on Monday.

Butler, who after six seasons with the Bulls was traded to the Timberwolves in June 2017, is averaging 21.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists this season for Minnesota (4-9) despite not being happy with his situation.

Philadelphia is trading for Butler with the full intention of re-signing him next summer when Butler is a free agent, and there is no way this deal gets done without a wink-and-nod agreement from Butler's team that he would stay.

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