Grade the Trade: 76ers get lucky and nostalgic in proposed risk-free swap

In this risk-free trade proposal, the Philadelphia 76ers cash in on another team’s uncertainty as they reunite with an old face. Let’s grade it.
76ers, Tyrese Maxey
76ers, Tyrese Maxey / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Why the 76ers should trade for Jimmy Butler

At surface level, the proposed trade poses little risk, if at all, for the 76ers. After all, two of those selections weren’t even theirs to begin with (recouped during the James Harden deal) and the one they actually own outright is situated in a pretty nebulous draft class where the level of talent doesn’t exactly inspire desperation from teams (note: I am being euphemismic).

This deal, however, is also about the merits of trading for Butler as much as it is about the nifty bargain. Butler’s name pumps enough conviction in an of itself, and for a franchise desperate for at least an NBA Finals appearance, what better star to pursue than someone who led his team to two appearances in the biggest stage in the last four years?

Butler, while starting to show some (or really, little) signs of decline at 34, remains one of the best two-way forces in the NBA. Offensively, he’s still a nightly triple-double threat who can take over games with his one-on-one scoring and set the table for his teammates. Defensively, he’s still the same, tenacious stopper who can viably anchor the D for a title contender.

Even better, Butler’s play style actually makes him a tenable plug-and-play piece despite his billing an an alpha guy. There’s even an argument to be made that his efficiency could soar even higher than it already is if his scoring burden decreases with Embiid and Maxey already there to take on the load. Put simply, his skillset should blend seamlessly next to Philly’s pair of in-house stars.