Timberwolves trade Jimmy Butler to 76ers

Jimmy Butler finally got his wish.

The disgruntled shooting guard/small forward, who demanded a trade from the Timberwolves in September, is heading back East. Minnesota reached a deal to send Butler and center Justin Patton to the 76ers for a package of Robert Covington, Dario Saric and a second-round pick, according to reports.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the trade.

In addition to the deal, the reports claim that Philadelphia and Butler expect to reach a deal on a long-term contract this summer. Doing so would end any hope of the four-time All-Star landing with the Nets or Knicks in free agency. He had reportedly listed the New York teams, along with the Clippers among his preferred destinations after requesting a trade.

Butler, who after six seasons with the Bulls was traded to the Timberwolves in June 2017, is averaging 21.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists this season for Minnesota (4-9) despite not being happy with his situation.

He sat out the Timberwolves’ game against the Jazz on Wednesday with no guarantee he would play for Minnesota again, The Athletic reported at the time. The team called it general soreness at the time, but Butler did not suit up again for the Timberwolves. His last game came in a loss at the Kings on Nov. 9

The 29-year-old joins a 76ers team led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons considered among the favorites in the East. Philadelphia (8-5) is in third place in the East after falling in the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs last season.

The deal comes after Butler turned down a four-year, $110 million extension from the Timberwolves during the offseason and was not moved after the Rockets reportedly offered four first-round picks to acquire him. The Heat were also reported to have had interest in landing Butler.

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