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GM Bob Myers: No problem giving Kevin Durant 'whatever he wants' contract-wise

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Butler sees championship potential, bright future with Sixers

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The trade talk is long behind Jimmy Butler. Now, he’s ready to get started with the Philadelphia 76ers and seeing how far he, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can take the team. 

Butler was introduced to the media on Tuesday morning, a day after his trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Sixers was made official. Butler and Justin Patton were traded to Philadelphia, in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless along with a 2022 second-round draft pick. Butler is expected to debut with his new club Wednesday at Orlando (7 ET, NBA League Pass).

“The last few days have been moving so incredibly fast. I think I’m that guy who wants to win and compete at a very high level,” Butler said Tuesday. “I don’t think I’m a bad teammate, but people get whatever they want to say out. I think I’m an incredible human being, teammate, and I will show that to the guys here.”

Butler was dealt after two months of trade speculation surrounded him following his demand to be dealt days before the Timberwolves’ training camp opened. While several deals were bandied about since then, the Sixers ended up with the four-time All-Star Butler in the first blockbuster trade of the 2018-19 season.

“I made this move because I believe it’s what’s best for our team,” Sixers GM Elton Brand said Tuesday. “We have a championship window and it’s important that we do whatever it takes to capitalize on it. This trade gave that opportunity to add an elite player like Jimmy Butler. Jimmy’s on of the best players in the league hands down. With Joel, Ben and Jimmy and the rest of our dynamic roster, we have a strong combination to take on the best teams in the NBA.”

 

GM Elton Brand explains why the Sixers traded for Jimmy Butler.

Overall, Butler is excited about teaming up with Simmons, Embiid and the rest of Philadelphia’s roster. The Sixers are off to a 9-6 start after Monday night’s win against the Miami Heat — a game in which Embiid went for 35 points and 18 rebounds. Butler said he watched that game and is excited about a new “Big Three” in Philadelphia.

“I like the sound of it,” Butler said of the Sixers’ new Big Three. “Now, we’ve got to go out there and make things happen. Talk is just that: talk. I think that when guys get out there and know how to play basketball — which everybody on this roster does — it’s all going to fall into place.

 

How will adding Jimmy Butler alter team chemistry for Philadelphia in 2018-19?

“I think I can put the ball in the basket … we’ll find ways to make things work. I know what I’m capable of doing out there on the floor. I think it’s going to be easy to play off the guys we have … I don’t think the offense is going to be a problem at all.”

Brand said when he first found out Butler was available, he reached out to the Wolves about acquiring him. He spoke often with Wolves GM Scott Layden and once the trade “had some legs”, team owner Josh Harris spoke with Wolves owner Glen Taylor. Harris and Taylor then thought the trade could be done, and Brand and Layden worked out the particulars.

Butler said found out about the trade in a series of text messages from friends before hearing from “two people” he was waiting to hear from — which presumably were Layden and Timberwolves coach and president Tom Thibodeau.

With this new start before him, Butler praised the Sixers for liking players who “grind” and wants to do “whatever it is the team asks for me to do” to help Philadelphia realize its championship dreams.

“It’s above any and everything,” Butler said of the pursuit of an NBA title. “That trophy, getting that ring, all I ever wanted to do is win. I have a new opportunity here. That’s the goal. That will always be the goal.”

The trade talk surrounding Butler brought an end to his time there and with Thibodeau, who also coached Butler when both were on the Chicago Bulls.

“Thibs is my guy. The world knows that. You know that. It was hard going through that with Thibs, but he knew what it was for the most part,” Butler said. “I have so much respect for him and the organization they have … it just didn’t work out. I wish them the best.” 

Said Sixers owner Josh Harris: “I and our team will do our best to bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia. In my opinion, we now have three of the top 20 players in the NBA.”

The 76ers won 47 games in a three-season span between 2013 and 2016. They won 28 in 2016-17, made the jump to the playoffs at 52-30 last season and now will be considered an even more serious threat to emerge as the East rep in the NBA Finals.



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Nets guard LeVert suffers serious leg injury

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Nets guard Caris LeVert was taken off the court on a gurney Monday at Target Center in Minneapolis after suffering a serious lower leg injury in the final seconds of the first half.

LeVert was injured while contesting a drive by Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie with 3.7 seconds remaining in first half. Players from both teams were shaken up as LeVert received medical attention before being wheeled off the court in obvious distress. 

LeVert is averaging a career-high 19 points per game in his third season with the Nets. 

This story will be updated as further information becomes available. 



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Report: Anthony exploring possible ‘landing spots’

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With Carmelo Anthony’s tenure in Houston apparently at an end, the 10-time All-Star is reportedly exploring options to continue his career elsewhere. 

ESPN reported Monday that Anthony’s representatives spent the day gathering information from various teams to determine where he might be able to play next. 

According to the same report, there are no ongoing discussions between Anthony and the Rockets despite general manager Daryl Morey’s recent denial of previous reports that he will soon be waived. Anthony, who joined the Rockets as a free agent during the offseason, has been listed as ill over the past two games. 

“It’s unfair that there’s all this speculation on just one person,” Morey said. “I understand it he’s obviously a Hall of Famer. But it’s unfair.” 

Anthony, 34, is averaging 13.4 points on 40.5-percent shooting in 10 games with the Rockets, who are 5-7 after reaching the Western Conference finals last season.

It follows a disappointing campaign with Oklahoma City in which his play dropped considerably following eight straight All-Star appearances with the Knicks and Nuggets. 

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