76ers Still Not East Betting Favorites With Addition of Jimmy Butler

Monday, November 12, 2018 12:49 AM UTC

Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 12:49 AM UTC

The Jimmy Butler saga has finally come to a conclusion as the Minnesota Timberwolves traded the All-Star to the 76ers. Yet Philly still is only the East’s third favorite.

<p>Thank God we don’t have to talk about Jimmy Butler any longer! The whiny diva finally got his wish: A trade from Minnesota. The All-Star swingman was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers along with filler Justin Patton for forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick.</p><p>Is Butler the best player in that group? No question. Philadelphia now has probably three of the NBA’s Top 20 players in Joel Embiid, Butler and Ben Simmons. The only other club that could claim similar is Golden State. Butler can hit free agency next summer but is expected to sign a long-term deal. The 76ers would be able to offer Butler a five-year max contract worth $190 million, while other teams could offer four years and a projected $141 million.</p><p>In Las Vegas, the deal dropped the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" rel="nofollow">Sixers’ odds to win the NBA title </a>from +3000 to +1400. However, <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4427&amp;book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow">at Bovada they are still only third favorites</a> to win the Eastern Conference at +325 behind the Celtics (+200) and Raptors (+200). How good is the Atlantic Division with all three teams there!? Toronto is the -145 division favorite with Boston at +255 and Philly +350. For what it’s worth, Embiid said Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins told him Philadelphia would win the East with Butler.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Ohhhhh yeaaaaaaaahhhhhh. &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/JimmyButler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@JimmyButler&lt;/a&gt; to Philly!!!!!!! &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/VHgNtLl73J\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/VHgNtLl73J&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/stephenasmith/status/1061366574743867392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;November 10, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Philly did give up two quality starters in the 28-year-old Covington and 25-year-old Saric and a decent bench piece in Bayless. Covington and Saric were averaging a combined 64 minutes between them, with Covington averaging 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, and Saric 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds. They were two of Simmons’ favorite targets as over the past two seasons they had received 43% of Simmons’ total assists and half of his 3-point assists.</p><p>What this deal does is hurt the 76ers’ depth – they better hope Butler stays healthy. Now you are looking at Markelle Fultz, TJ McConnell, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and Amir Johnson as the primary reserves. Meh. The team could become an attractive destination for buyout candidates, though. The Sixers were able to add Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova that way last season. Both Boston and Toronto are way deeper.</p><p>This is probably the best the Timberwolves were going to do. The Heat were never trading them Josh Richardson in a Butler deal, and the Pelicans hung up the phone when Tom Thibodeau asked for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday. Thibs apparently made up his mind to ship Butler out after his team’s fifth straight loss on Nov. 9.</p><p>The two happiest people with this deal? Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiggins, who were often the object of Butler’s scorn. In games Butler played, Towns averaged 17.7 points per game on 43 percent shooting and Wiggins averaged 16.3 points on 40 percent shooting. In games without Butler, Towns averaged 27.3 points on 54 percent shooting and Wiggins 18.3 ppg on 45 percent.</p><p>Minnesota is now <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4427&amp;book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow">+15000 at Bovada to win the NBA title, </a>but that was never going to happen even with Butler.</p>
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