I’m writing this to tell you the 76ers got it right by acquiring Butler’s services, and got him at the right price.
Something had to change for the Sixers. They’ve been dreadful playing away from the Wells Fargo Center, as they recently picked up their first road win of the season, that almost took them a month to do. Even in the 76ers wins, they’ve seemed to have needed all of Joel Embiid’s 28 points and 13 rebounds to win. The team needed a jolt, and they found that in Butler.
The Sixers needed someone who could create their own shot
The Sixers don’t have a wing that can create a shot for himself off the dribble. Sure, J.J. Redick can score off the dribble, and Ben Simmons can back someone down to drive to the basket. Before the Jimmy Butler trade, the 76ers lacked a wing who can score in isolation. Butler’s late game ability also gives the Sixers a closer. Butler ranked sixth in the NBA in clutch usage rate last season, so he’s familiar with taking shots with the game on the line. Butler provides an element in late game situations that Simmons can’t.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons need someone to take the scoring burden off of them
The Sixers had five players that averaged double digit points, and shipped two of them to Minnesota in Robert Covington and Dario Saric. Now, they obviously got back Butler, who averages over 21 points per game, but it’s Butler’s consistency that will take some pressure off of Simmons, Embiid and Redick, who was recently inserted back into the starting lineup. Not to mention that Butler will demand more attention on the perimeter and possibly leave Joel Embiid with more room to work. The addition of Butler will help the lighten the scoring load off of Embiid and Simmons, and give the two more room to operate.
By starting Jimmy Butler at Small Forward, Markelle Fultz can still see time at the guard spots
To start the season, Markelle Fultz has only averaged nine points per game, and still has a horrific looking jump shot. The most concerning thing about Fultz is that he’s only seeing an average of 24 minutes per game, as Brett Brown has stuck with Redick, given his scoring ability (17.9 points per game, good for second on the team). The fact that Redick can actually shoot, and demand attention on the perimeter is important. However, Butler’s arrival does not mean that Fultz will see less time, or stunt his development. In fact, It’ll be interesting to see how Brett Brown works his lineups with Butler in the mix, and how Fultz plays alongside the Sixers new big three.
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