PHILADELPHIA, Pensylvania On November 12th, 2018 the Philadelphia 76ers officially picked up 4-time all-star Jimmy Butler. I believe this makes them the new top pick to be the best team in the East come this April. With the Sixer’s coming out party last year, fans finally began to bear the fruits of ” the process,” a slow grind that has been going on since the team first drafted Joel Embiid in 2014. The 76ers were good last year, but they were not great. With the addition of Jimmy Butler, I believe pushes them into the upper echelon of teams in the NBA.
The 76ers have a 12-6 record six record since Jimmy joined the team. This may not seem so spectacular, but adding a star like JB into the fold will take time to fully develop, and because of the fact they have maintained there number three seed we can only assume that now that they are the only team in the East with a legitimate big three and three probable all-stars in Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and now Jimmy Butler that they will improve their seed as they surpass teams that were once seen as better like the Bucks, and Raptors, and ascend to the top of the eastern conference.
With the gain of a star like Jimmy Butler we also had to give up a lot. We lost two starters Dario Saric and Robert Covington in the deal and some people thought that was too high a price for someone like Jimmy Butler. Both of these players were good 3-point shooters, which is something the team was already lacking so many people thought that the 76ers were taking a step back with this move, but I strongly disagree. The main problem was not the lack of three-point shooting on the team, but they had no number one option. Yes, Simmons and Embiid are great, but they lack that “It” factor that Butler constantly shows he has in spades. In his 3rd game on the team, he hit a step back three-point dagger to end an overtime thriller versus the Charlotte Hornets that neither Simmons or Embiid could’ve hit. Stephen A. Smith said “Jimmy Butler can’t be the best player on a championship team,” but I believe he can and he will. He is averaging 20 points and five boards since his time with the Sixers, great numbers for any guard in the NBA, and with his strong guard play, it helps Embiid be less of a number option and more of a 1a for Jimmy to go to when jump shots aren’t falling, while Simmons facilitates for both of them.
The 76ers will have to keep their nose to the grindstone if they want to realize the full potential of the team, and I believe with the “never say die” attitude and the refusal to lose that this team has shown they will come out of the east when the conference playoffs are all said and done.