The Minnesota Timberwolves have officially traded All-Star wing Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers, and not everyone is happy about it. With much of the NBA community currently in disarray over the major swap, it's time to suss out who got the better of this deal. With that in mind, let's start by identifying the four biggest losers of today's transaction.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
Let's start with the obvious: the Wolves are taking an L in this trade. They gave up a true two-way star in exchange for a couple of role players and a second-round pick, which in today's NBA equates not quite to highway robbery, but something close. When you add this to the fact that the organization could have gotten four first-rounders from the Rockets, its clear to see why the Wolves aren't exactly sitting pretty here.
3. Dario Saric and Robert Covington
The 76ers enhanced their position as one of the most singularly talented teams in the NBA, but these two guys aren't going to be around to see it. Robert Covington and Dario Saric are officially off to the wilderness, which means they can kiss any NBA Finals hopes they had goodbye. Although they are both quality contributors, neither one of them will get nearly the same love they could have gotten in Philly, so they've got to feel miffed that they're suddenly teammates with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
2. Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors
There is a new title contender in the East after today. Prior to this trade, it was widely assumed that the winner of the conference was either going to be the Toronto Raptors or perhaps the Boston Celtics, but things have just become a lot more complicated. The path to the NBA Finals just got a whole lot harder for these two contenders.
1. Houston Rockets
The Rockets were aggresvely pursuing Butler, at one point offering four first-rounders for his services; however, he has officially slipped through their fingers. As the only real threat to knock off the Warriors entering this season, a guy like Butler would have made a huge difference in Houston's championship hopes. He would have given them exactly what they're lacking-- a dynamic wing who can provide lockdown defense while contributing as an off-the-ball scorer.