There's a new Big 3 in the Eastern Conference today after reports emerged of a trade sending Minnesota's Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick. Juston Patton will also join Butler in Philadelphia as part of the trade.
MORE: How Jimmy Butler fits in with the Philadelphia 76ers
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.
When asked about the arrival of Butler ahead of tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Simmons said he 'can't wait' to play with the four-time All-Star.
"He's going to fit in with us," Simmons said via NBC Sports Philadelphia's Serena Winters.
Ben Simmons says he "can't wait" for Jimmy Butler to get here.- Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 11, 2018
"He's going to fit in with us." #sixers
Butler's arrival speeds up the 76ers' 'Process' giving them a veteran presence who can help close out games, an area Philly have struggled with over recent seasons and Simmons added that Butler's winning mindset is something they are eager to share.
"That's the mindset we all have here, so we're excited to get Jimmy here," he added.
#Sixers @BenSimmons25 talks about the trade for Jimmy Butler. The #Sixers point guard is excited to play with the four-time all-star. pic.twitter.com/4rKXoyKtqO- Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 11, 2018
In Covington, Philly lose a valuable three-point shooter and long, athletic wing defender, whilst the absence of Saric's floor-spacing and size will surely be felt. In return, Butler (a 37.8% three-point shooter) will likely see a boost in his current 4.5 attempts from deep per game, given Simmons' drive and dish' game.
Philly now has the luxury of unleashing Butler on the opposing team's best perimeter player, forming a versatile defensive spine, flanked by Simmons and Embiid.
76ers beat writer @PompeyOnSixers joined #GameTime to discuss how the Jimmy Butler trade impacts Ben Simmons and what's next for Philly pic.twitter.com/EC0da18Mnn- NBA TV (@NBATV) November 11, 2018
Through 10 games this season, Butler has averaged 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.