The Minnesota Timberwolves ended a nearly two-month saga on Saturday by agreeing to trade their disgruntled All-Star guard, Jimmy Butler, to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.
To create a star trio of Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the 76ers will surrender Dario Saric and Robert Covington, who were starters on last season’s 52-win team, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the details of the trade publicly.
The Sixers will also part with a future second-round draft pick and the veteran guard Jerryd Bayless to get Butler and Minnesota’s 2017 first-round draft choice, Justin Patton. The trade is scheduled to be officially announced on Monday.
The Athletic first reported that the teams had reached an agreement.
Butler’s future with the Timberwolves has been uncertain since Sept. 18, when his desire to be traded was first reported. The report came after he had a face-to-face meeting with Coach Tom Thibodeau.
The chaos stemming from Butler’s desire for a move and Thibodeau’s initial unwillingness to accommodate him has rivaled LeBron James’s early days with the Los Angeles Lakers in commanding the N.B.A. spotlight over the past two months.
Butler was held out of training camp for about two weeks — a decision he and the team agreed on so it could explore trade options — then made a dramatic return Oct. 10 for what his intensity and shouting turned into a heated practice session, which he followed by granting a sit-down interview to ESPN.
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SOURCE: NY Times, Marc Stein