By Michael Donovan
So, NBA smart asses who have been stoking the notion that Jimmy Butler is unhappy and that the Sixers screwed up by trading for him?
How are you feeling today?
As the New York Times points out, it took 54 days for the Minnesota Timberwolves to find a trade they liked for Butler after Butler’s request to be dealt became public Sept. 18.
Butler was snubbed by East coaches in All-Star voting, but the potential ceiling for the Sixers’ rugged new star threesome was evident Thursday night at Golden State, when Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Butler and Company brought a halt to the longest winning streak of the season — after the Warriors had won 11 in a row.
Minnesota is 21-18 since the trade that sent Butler and Justin Patton to Philadelphia on Nov. 12 — and 6-6 since firing Tom Thibodeau, the coach/team president who made it, on Jan. 6.
Ryan Saunders, Thibodeau’s 32-year-old replacement, has many admirers around the league, but the Wolves are a long way from convincing skeptics that the deal (to bring in Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick) was sufficient for a player of Butler’s caliber.