Wolves make Butler trade official

Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired forward Robert Covington, forward Dario Šarić (DAH-ree-oh SHAH-ritch), guard Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round draft pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Jimmy Butler and center Justin Patton.

Jimmy Butler vs Denver
Jimmy Butler     Photo by Cam Dahlin

Covington, 27, has appeared in 304 career games (258 starts) with Houston and Philadelphia, recording averages of 12.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 35.9% from the three-point line. Covington was named to the 2017-18 All-Defensive First Team after recording a career-best 315 deflections and a defensive rating of 99.0, which led all NBA forwards that played at least 30.0 minutes per game. He also finished ninth in the NBA in steals per game in 2017-18 at 1.7 steals per contest. Covington has made at least 137 three-pointers in each of the last four seasons, including a single-season career-best 203 (11th-most in the NBA) in 2017-18, which stands as the second-most in a single season by a 76ers player.

Through 13 games this season, all starts, Covington is averaging 11.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and a career-best 1.8 blocks while making 2.3 three-pointers per game on a career-best 39.0% from long range. The Bellwood, Illinois native signed with Philadelphia on November 15, 2014.

Šarić, 24, has appeared in 172 career games (122 starts), all with Philadelphia, posting averages of 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. The 6-10 forward was named to the 2016-17 All-Rookie First Team after putting up averages of 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 81 games. Originally from Sibenik, Croatia, Šarić improved his scoring, rebounding, assist and shooting numbers in 2017-18 when he averaged 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 45.3% shooting from the floor including a 39.3% mark from downtown. He made 157 three-pointers that campaign, the most in the NBA that season by a player 6-10 or taller.

Through 13 games this season, all starts, Šarić has averages of 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 30.5 minutes per contest. Originally selected by the Orlando Magic with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Šarić had his rights traded to Philadelphia on June 26, 2014. He then signed a multi-year contract with the 76ers on July 15, 2016.

Bayless, 30, has appeared in 552 career games (93 starts) over a 10-year NBA career, averaging 8.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 21.4 minutes per game. The 6-3 guard was originally selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 11th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The 76ers signed Bayless as a free agent on July 13, 2016.

Butler, 29, spent one-plus seasons with Minnesota, averaging 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 69 contests, all starts. In 2017-18 he was named a Western Conference All-Star and to the All-NBA Third Team after averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 59 games. The Wolves originally acquired Butler via a trade on June 22, 2017 along with the rights to Justin Patton from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen.

Patton, 21, has played in one game for Minnesota since being acquired along with Butler from Chicago on June 22, 2017, totaling two points and one steal in just under four minutes of action.

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