Wanted a star? You got one.
The Sixers are finalizing a trade to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves, a team source confirmed Saturday to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Serena Winters.
Per the source, the Sixers are giving up Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round draft pick, while also receiving Justin Patton.
The trade is still pending approval and expected to be completed Monday, according to the source. At the earliest, Butler will make his Sixers debut Wednesday night in Orlando, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.
The deal was first reported by The Athletic's Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski.
Butler is averaging 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals in 10 contests this season. He has made the All-Star Game the previous four seasons in which he's posted averages of 21.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 35.2 percent from three-point range.
The 6-foot-8, 232-pounder is a do-it-all swingman that scores, facilitates and plays both ends of the floor. On top of his offensive numbers, the 29-year-old Butler has been named to the NBA's All-Defensive second team four of the past five seasons.
Butler had then missed three of Minnesota's first 13 games because of general sorness.
"They don't know how my body feels," he said last week, via ESPN. "So if I'm nicked up, then you can count on that."
According to a report by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau "decided late Friday night, after a fifth straight loss, that the team could no longer function with Butler as a part of it." Also, per the report, the goal was to make sure Butler landed in the Eastern Conference.
After the Sixers had failed on their hunt for a star in the offseason, new general manager Elton Brand delivered one here (see story).
Of course, though, it came at a price.
After going undrafted out of mid-major Tennessee State, Covington turned himself into an NBA starter an All-Defensive first-teamer. In parts of five seasons with the Sixers, the 6-foot-9 small forward averaged 12.9 points per game and shot 35.9 percent from distance.
Saric, acquired in a 2014 draft-night trade with the Magic, is only 24 years old and has averaged 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in his career, which kicked off with being named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie first team.
The Sixers host the Timberwolves Jan. 15 and visit them March 30.
It should be fun as Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the Sixers have their star.
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