HOW THE SIXERS LOST JIMMY BUTLER AND GOT BETTER!

Says FiveThirtyEight.com:

The Sixers went into the NBA’s free-agency blitz with an eye on keeping together as much as possible of last season’s 51-win outfit (which took the eventual champion Raptors to seven games in the playoffs), including potentially re-signing free agents Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick, plus working out an extension for Ben Simmons.

That didn’t quite all come together for GM Elton Brand on Sunday — but maybe his team came out ahead on the other side.

Redick is gone; Butler was traded. But Harris and Simmons signed new deals, Al Horford (above) was added, and the Butler deal brought an intriguing package of talent headlined by ex-Heat guard Josh Richardson.

The resulting team looks … actually really good?

The Sixers are still very good — if not better!

Projected opening-night depth chart for the 2019-20 Sixers, based on CARMELO plus/minus ratings

EXPECTED MINUTES PER GAME PLAYER RATING
PLAYER PG SG SF PF C TOTAL OFF. +/- DEF. +/- TOT. +/-
Ben Simmons 33 4 0 0 0 37 +2.2 +1.7 +3.9
Josh Richardson 13 20 2 0 0 35 +0.6 +0.3 +0.9
Joel Embiid 0 0 0 0 34 34 +1.9 +4.1 +6.0
Tobias Harris 0 0 16 15 2 33 +1.0 -0.4 +0.6
Al Horford 0 0 0 16 12 28 +0.7 +2.5 +3.2
Jonathon Simmons 0 15 4 0 0 19 -2.2 -1.4 -3.5
Matisse Thybulle 0 3 14 0 0 17 -1.7 +1.0 -0.7
Mike Scott 0 0 10 6 0 16 -1.6 -1.0 -2.6
Jonah Bolden 0 0 0 11 0 11 -1.3 +1.0 -0.3
Marial Shayok 0 4 2 0 0 6 -1.8 -1.2 -3.0
Zhaire Smith 0 2 0 0 0 2 -0.9 -1.0 -1.9
Replacement-level PG 2 0 0 0 0 2 -0.7 -1.0 -1.7
Team total 240 +2.0 +5.1 +7.1
Expected wins 58.8
CARMELO team rating 1686

Says FiveThirtyEight.com:

NBA Free Agency Diary: Did The Sixers Lose Jimmy Butler And … Get Better?

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