Jimmy Butler’s first game with the Sixers ended in a 111-106 loss to Orlando, but the result was secondary to the fact that Butler was finally free from the drama that surrounded him in Minnesota.
Butler let it be known in the summer that he wasn’t signing an extension with the Timberwolves for a number of reasons, including what he described as a lackluster culture where the young cats didn’t want to put in that work.
Jimmy Butler is liking the chemistry on his new squad. https://t.co/rDRwiTebAb
Jimmy Buckets scored 14 points and helped the Sixers overcome a 16-point deficit, but he didn’t score in the fourth quarter. That should change as the team begins to gel.
Butler, who has developed the reputation of a locker room headache, probably didn’t want to step on any toes in his first game. In fact, he had his fewest touches of the season. But afterwards, he expressed a long overdue calmness now that he’s found a home in Philly.
According to @SecondSpectrum, Jimmy Butler had a season-low 41 touches and a season-low 68 dribbles.
“So far we all get along,” Butler said. “That’s the first thing. We all want each other to be great.”
The trade has benefited the Timberwolves as well. The squad’s young duo of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns is looking reinvigorated without the Butler conflict dominating everyone’s social media timeline.
Jimmy Butler gets traded. KAT and Wiggins: https://t.co/bSNNVUnJM9
Butler has heard the rumblings about his inability to mesh with certain personalities and wanted to address his relationship with his new teammates from the door.
“We’re all talking about what we see out on the floor. We’re gonna be just fine,” Butler added.
That communication between the team and the dedication of each man to working hard and establishing proper communication is what Butler often said Minnesota lacked.
With the All-Star’s arrival, the future of Markelle Fultz is thrust into uncertainty. When the season started, Fultz, who had worked his way back from injury and an unexplained glitch in his shooting, was in the starting lineup. That vote of confidence from the Sixers hasn’t done much to elevate the former No. 1 pick’s game.
If Philly can get some productive play out of Fultz, they could package him in a trade. The Sixers need perimeter shooting with the departure of Robert Covington, who was a master at the catch and shoot three.
Despite the acquisition of Jimmy Butler, Stan Van Gundy still thinks the Sixers need to add another shooter in order to compete. https://t.co/fhOQm7zO6T
“Once we put this team together we’re going to be tough,” Butler concluded.
Butler definitely gives Philly more firepower, but they must keep adding to the depth that they will need to challenge Boston and Toronto in the East.