Jimmy Butler

Report: Jimmy Butler challenging Brett Brown on his role in 76ers offense

Report: Jimmy Butler challenging Brett Brown on his role in 76ers offense

This was the concern with trading for Jimmy Butler, wasn't it? 

Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Butler, less than two months after being traded from the Minnesota Timbewrwolves, has "aggressively challenged"' Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown on his role in the team's offense. 

According to the story, Butler has been vocal with his frustrations with Brown's system, especially in a film session after the team's 34-point loss to Portland Sunday. 

Brown has downplayed the incidents to people within the Sixers' organization, but ESPN reports a source close to Butler has a different take. 

While a source close to Butler contends that his intense, direct style can come off as combative as he's trying to make clear his viewpoints, Butler's sluggish assimilation into the Sixers environment is causing some concern about his long-term viability and fit with the organization, league sources said.

Butler hopes to play in more pick and roll sets on offense as opposed to finding his shot in the flow of the offense, according to the story. The Sixers' reluctance to use pick and rolls could be Brown's system preference, but could also be centered on Ben Simmons' inability to shoot from the perimeter. 

As a free agent this summer, Butler could choose to leave the Sixers if he doesn't think his fit with Simmons and Joel Embiid works. That could be good news for their rival Celtics, who plan on ruling the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future. 

The Celtics also had plenty of chances to trade for Butler the past three years but never made the move. Butler's personality has been a problem for seemingly every team he's been on since breaking out as a star, and the Celtics may have dodged a bullet by passing on the Marquette product. 

If only he had teamed up with Kyrie Irving sooner, perhaps he'd finally be happy with his team. 

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Why Joel Embiid is frustrated with Sixers role post-Jimmy Butler trade

Why Joel Embiid is frustrated with Sixers role post-Jimmy Butler trade

As the Boston Celtics will tell you, adding an All-Star to your lineup comes with growing pains.

And Joel Embiid is feeling the brunt of them in Philadelphia, it seems.

The 76ers center admitted Friday in no uncertain terms he's not happy with how head coach Brett Brown has used him since Philly traded for swingman Jimmy Butler.

"I haven’t been myself lately,” Embiid said, via Philly.com's Keith Pompey. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch five, which I’m only shooting (29) percent (from 3-point range)."

Embiid didn't play Friday night in the Sixers' win over the Detroit Pistons after averaging just 13.7 points over his previous three contests. He shot just 33.3 percent from the floor (14-for-42) while going 1-for-9 from beyond the arc.

Philly's new offensive sets with Butler apparently station Embiid on the perimeter more often than he'd like, however.

"It seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, (Brown) always has me starting on the perimeter … and it just really frustrates me. My body feels great, and it’s just I haven’t been playing well.”

Brown, meanwhile, said he "(didn't) see the connection of Jimmy having much to do with spacing," noting defenses often crowd Embiid when he gets the ball in the paint.

Embiid's frustrations aren't really harming the Sixers, who have won nine of their last 11 games. But just as Boston needed to find its offensive identity after Gordon Hayward's return, Philly may have to find a better way to utilize Embiid with Butler in the mix.

The Celtics, who have won four straight and trail the Sixers by just 2 1/2 games for the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed, will be paying close attention.

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NBA Rumors: 76ers 'highly interested' in Kyle Korver trade with Cavs

NBA Rumors: 76ers 'highly interested' in Kyle Korver trade with Cavs

The Philadelphia 76ers just used a few valuable trade assets to acquire star forward Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but there's a chance Philly isn't done making moves to improve its roster for what it hopes is a deep playoff run this season.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Tuesday the 76ers "remain highly interested" in trading for Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kyle Korver.

This move would make sense for the Sixers, who are in dire need of more 3-point shooters, even after the Butler trade. J.J. Redick is the only elite outside shooter on the roster, and with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz either unable or unwilling to stretch the floor with consistent outside shooting, Philly needs to address this weakness before the trade deadline.

The 76ers rank 20th in the league in 3-point shooting percentage despite being 10th in 3-point attempts per game. They shot well from the perimeter (14-for-29) in Butler's debut against the Orlando Magic -- a 111-106 loss -- on Wednesday night, but it's unlikely that success rate will continue. 

Korver is shooting 38.7 percent on 3-point attempts this season, and he's a career 43.1 percent shooter from that range.

What would the 76ers need to give up to acquire Korver? Stein didn't specify, but given the likely rebuild coming in Cleveland during the post-LeBron James era, draft picks might be the best way to get the Cavs interested. 

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