Philadelphia 76ers

Will ball-dominant Jimmy Butler clash with young Sixers stars?

Will ball-dominant Jimmy Butler clash with young stars?

Over the weekend, an unlikely trade saw Butler shipped off to Philly. Although the ball-dominant star has had his fair share of problems in the locker room, that wasn’t enough to stop the Sixers from going after him.

In an epic trade, Philly was able to secure Butler without giving up a single first-round pick. Despite losing first team all-defensive player Robert Covington, and shooting big man Dario Saric, the team didn’t drop in talent.

In fact, Philly is a lot better off with Butler. Regardless of Covington’s skill from deep, the starters have been without a shot creator alongside Joel Embiid. Losing Saric will definitely hurt the bench, especially when Embiid needs rest.

Philly lucked out when Minnesota turned down Houston’s offer. After missing out on the LeBron James sweepstakes, fans can rest easy now that the team has finally made an all-star trade.

Butler shows off his new Sixers wardrobe:

Just share the rock!

The main question most critics have about the trade is: can Jimmy Butler play well with the young Sixers stars? The ball-dominant guard is used to having the ball in his hands. It’s pretty evident by his 21.3 points per game this season.

Although Ben Simmons is a phenomenal passer, most of the offensive possessions run through him. If he doesn’t make a pass for a basket, he is usually the one scoring the ball.

The addition of Butler might hurt the production of Embiid and Simmons. Although it seems like three ball-dominant players would slow the pace of the offense, the Warriors are a perfect model for Philly to follow.

Golden State has won three out of the last four championships with a similar roster. Despite the Warriors lacking a scoring big man like Embiid, they are all too familiar with score-first guards.

If the Sixers can utilize their big three in a way that the Warriors have, the Eastern Conference should be a cake walk.

The Sixers are optimistic about their new star, despite a history of problems:

Can Butler keep it cool in the locker room?

One of the main concerns shrouding Butler is his attitude. While it isn’t a bad thing to take winning seriously, it is bad when other’s attitudes are affected because of it.

He was too headstrong for the immature nature of his younger teammates. Butler might find himself in a similar place with the young stars on the Sixers squad. 

The two stars in Philly are both under 25, while Butler is pushing 30 years old. This could be a recipe for disaster. Especially if Embiid and Simmons are anything like what Butler put up with in Minnesota.

One of Philly’s biggest flaws is in the locker room. The team doesn’t really have a veteran presence that can keep everyone under control. Unfortunately, the Sixers hardly have a head coach capable of doing that.

More unfortunate is that Butler will be thrust into a role where he is stuck babysitting the younger players. If this whole thing is going to work, the former Minnesota star will have to be a major presence in the locker room.

Any chance that he is able to get the support of his younger teammates, Philly might just find itself competing for an NBA championship in June.

All stats via Basketball-reference.com
Featured Image: BipHoo Company via Flickr.com

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Aric Kirsten

Currently a sports management and sociology major at the University of Arizona. Playing basketball and football has been a huge part of my life, as well as being an avid fan!

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