So, Jimmy Butler, with Justin Patton for salary number matching or else Elton Brand Philly GM verschnizzle, is off to the Sixers for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and a second round draft pick?
As the header notes, I see this as a very possible win-win trade, except perhaps for Tom Thibodeau, T-Wolves coach and team president. (It could be a no-win for him, of course, if the Twinkies don't make the playoffs again. If that happens, that's because the trade isn't a short-term win for the team, which will have to adjust chemistry more than will Philly. Perhaps.
The Sixers now have a core of Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Butler. Saric, after a strong year last year, was looking more and more like an odd man out early this year.
That said, we'll have to see if, besides social media trolling competitiveness, Butler finds Embiid to be any more competitive on the hardwood than Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Ditto for Simmons and Fultz, of course.
Also, jokes on Twitter aside, Sixers fans have to be hoping that Thibs hasn't stripped most the tread off Butler's tires already. If he has, well, then this ain't a long-term win-win for Philly, because you traded away a couple of younger, cheaper players.
Up in the Great White North, there's talk that, because of injuries and age and having gotten one more player back, the Wolves would cut Bayless. I wouldn't. I think he's still a plus defensive player, and can add a lower-key version of veteran leadership along with Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and the rejuvenated Derrick Rose, as well as giving Thibs more lineup flexibility AND the option of playing older players fewer minutes — IF Thibs can change his stripes and do that. (I'd get rid of Luol Deng first, if nothing else, if that's doable by NBA rules, which I don't know why it wouldn't. I'd do that ahead of Anthony Tolliver, mentioned by Hoops Rumors.)
The Wolves, with the extra player back, face lineup questions in other ways. Does Saric start ahead of Gibson? Or Covington How does whoever gets the short straw handle coming off the bench?
How much small ball does Thibs try, with Covington at the 4 and the plethora of guards he has? How much big ball does he try, occasionally putting Covington at the 2?
Finally, how much do the other veterans now more quietly step into Butler's shoes on team leadership and challenging KAT and Wiggins in general, and challenging — and teaching — both better defense?
Long-term, if Saric finds back last year's form and Covington remains his steady self, it's a definite potential win for the Wolves. As Hoops Rumors notes, it helps their long-term cap numbers, important since Thibs was dumb enough to give Wiggins that max-level extension last summer.
Longer-term, IMO, it might be more of a win for the Wolves if it turns out to be a short-term loss, or at least, not enough of a gain for Thibs to keep his job. With four relatively younger players now, the team might be better served with another coach — and one without the additional title of team president.