The newest member of the Sixers "Big 3,” Jimmy Butler

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10 takeaways from Jimmy Butler's introductory press conference

November 13, 2018 - 1:34 pm
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By Eliot Shorr-Parks, 90WIP

PHILADELPHIA (90WIP SportsRadio) — The Sixers introduced guard Jimmy Butler on Tuesday, the first time he has met with the media since being acquired by the team in a blockbuster deal that the team is hoping will catapult them into the top of the Eastern Conference. 

RELATED: Jimmy Butler's top 8 quotes from his presser?

Here are some takeaways from the press conference:

“Three of the top 20 players in the NBA” — Joshua Harris, Sixers owner 

Analysis: Harris made this bold statement in his opening remarks, making it very clear that the Sixers believe they now have the three pieces — Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Butler — to compete right now for an NBA title. The statement is also was a reminder that, after a few seasons of losing and slow building, the Sixers now have three elite players. 

“We have a championship window, and it is important we do whatever we can to capitalize on it.” — Elton Brand, Sixers general manager

Analysis: It was interesting that Brand used the term “championship window” for a team that is currently built around two young players who are in theory not even in their prime yet. It does, however, speak to the urgency that the Sixers feel to win right now.

“We had a joke: ‘This is Elton with our daily call.’” — Brand

Analysis: Brand made it clear that the Sixers were very interested in Butler from the moment it was obvious that he wanted out of Minnesota. Brand joked he spoke with Minnesota Timberwolves management daily about getting a deal done, and they made multiple offers they felt were fair. Once a deal became close, ownership got involved and the deal was completed. 

“We really don’t know me unless you are around me everyday … I love my teammates.” — Butler

Analysis: The first question Butler was asked was about the elephant in the room — the perception that he wasn’t a great teammate in Minnesota and was an issue in the locker room. Butler said he felt he was a great teammate in Minnesota, and that unless his teammates were acting fake around him, he believed he got along with the players. Butler also casted some doubt on reports that quoted “sources,” saying if anybody had an issue with him, he would hope they would address it with him in person. 

“We are going to win a lot of games.” — Butler

Analysis: Butler, like Harris and Brand, made the expectations clear — he expects to come to Philadelphia and win. Butler was also asked about money, and how important it will be in a new deal. He responded by saying that winning is the top priority for him and that will be the main focus when deciding on where he signs this offseason. 

“He is a talented young player. From what I can tell, a lot of things are mental. In this league, 90 percent is mental. If you think you can do something, you can.” — Butler on Markelle Fultz

Analysis: There has been plenty of speculation that Butler will have a negative impact on Fultz as a teammate. Although it was just a press conference, and it is easy to say the right thing as opposed to actually backing it up in the locker room, Butler gave no indication that he will be an issue for Fultz. Butler said he has heard very positive things about Fultz, and that he knows how hard he works from them both being out in Los Angeles this past offseason. 

“We have a really unselfish group of guys who are going to make the extra pass … offense is going to be the easy part of it.” — Butler

Analysis: Butler spoke at length, multiple times, about how impressed he has been with the Sixers’ offense. Butler said he was amazed watching the Sixers win over the Miami Heat on Monday night how fast the ball moved and how open the players were on offense. Butler sounded like a teammate that will be willing to make the extra pass. The question is, in a contract year, will he actually be OK with taking a backseat to Joel Embiid? 

“I like the sound of it. It sounds really good. Now we have to go out there and make some things happen.” — Butler 

Analysis: This came in response to Butler being asked about fans calling Embiid, Simmons and Butler the new “Big 3.” Butler mentioned how badly he wants to win multiple times. If that truly is the case, any concerns about Butler being an issue in the locker room, and taking the ball away from Embiid or Simmons, should be thrown out the window. Butler said all the right things on Tuesday, especially about Embiid, Simmons and Fultz. Now he has to back it up. 

“We feel we can add an important piece with that roster spot. We think we can use that to do some real damage and help our team” — Brand 

Analysis: This was a very interesting thing for Brand to say. The Sixers have an extra roster spot since they sent three players to the Timberwolves and only got back two. Brand made it pretty clear they are going to use the spot to acquire another player. The quote also comes on the heels of reports the team is interested in acquiring Kyle Korver from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stay tuned. 

“It is not about the money. I have to be able to love where I am at.” — Butler

Analysis: The trade very well might work for the Sixers, and the team could end up competing to win the NBA title. If Butler does not sign an extension with the team this offseason, however, it won’t matter. Butler stressed he wants to win, and he wants to play somewhere that he can compete for multiple titles. Brand said that he hopes Butler believes it can be in Philadelphia, but he also wants to make sure Butler is a fit before the two sides agree to a long-term deal.