Analyzing the Jimmy Butler Trade Two Weeks Later

It’s now been two weeks since Jimmy Butler forced his way out of Minnesota for good. That gives us a solid sample to see how the pieces have fallen into place for the players involved in this trade.

As expected, Jimmy Butler’s value hasn’t changed much, as he was clearly the best piece in the trade. For Dario Saric and Robert Covington — the two players sent to Minnesota — it’s been a mixed bag of results.

This article will explore whose value has changed, what direction it’s gone, and what categories or parts of their game have been affected.

Jimmy Butler

Butler was the most talented player involved in the trade, meaning logically speaking, he’d be the least affected by the move. That’s been true for the most part, though there have been some notable differences in his game. Some of his raw statistical output have dipped, partly stemming from his average minutes per game taking a slight downturn from 36.1 to 35.

Still, that slight drop doesn’t explain the significant hit to his assist rate, falling 19.8% to 12.9%. Then again, this makes sense in this scenario as both Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid handle the ball more frequently when compared to Karl-Anthony Towns and other major producers in Minnesota.

Similarly, his rebound rate has fallen by two percent since joining the Sixers, and that’s being propped up by an increased offensive rebound rate that’s unlikely to stick. While neither is a major hit to his value, they are changes to his profile.

On the positive side of things, playing around other electric playmakers has opened up the floor for Butler and he has used that to his advantage by playing more efficiently. To that end, he has shot at over a 50 percent clip from the field, though that is buoyed by an unsustainable 55 percent from three-point range.

Overall, Butler appears to be in line for a slight downturn in production, specifically in boards and assists. While his efficiency has been on the rise in the short-term, we’re still dealing with a small-sample size, and the way his shooting has improved isn’t convincing. Still, his value hasn’t shifted drastically up or down.

Robert Covington

There is no doubt that Robert Covington has enjoyed his time in Minnesota. While he had consistent playing time in Philly, Covington has averaged nearly 36 minutes per game across his seven games since joining the Wolves. He’s also been free to hoist a ton of shots, attempting nearly 2.5 field goal attempts more since joining his new squad. His steal numbers have also seen a dramatic uptick — an underrated stat to spur his value — as he has recorded multiple steals in every game since being dealt.

While there’s no debating that Covington is still a streaky shooter — he went 1-for-18 from the field Saturday — he appears to be playing more confidently. His willingness to look for his shot and strong defensive contributions have his stock firmly on the rise.

Dario Saric

Things haven’t been so rosy for Saric. His minutes have fallen by nearly seven per game, and he has played less than 20 minutes in two of his past three games. That alone is enough to diminish his fantasy value, even though his rate stats have remained fairly consistent after transitioning to the Timberwolves. He’ll either have to overtake Taj Gibson for minutes, or wait for an injury to Gibson or others in the front-court for his stock to trend back up.

 

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Dan Marcus

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Dan recently moved to Columbus, Ohio but is a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan. Fantasy baseball was and always will be his favorite fantasy sport, but he also enjoys football and basketball as well.

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