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Fantasy Basketball Stock Report: Jimmy Butler Trade Impact

The Jimmy Butler saga finally came to an end on Saturday afternoon. The disgruntled star was shipped out of Minnesota for a fairly decent return. Philadelphia moved on from Dario Saric and Robert Covington in order to lock up their Big 3. Here are the full trade details. But what does the Jimmy Butler trade mean from a fantasy basketball perspective?

There’s a lot of moving parts that affect a handful of players. Some that play an important role for fantasy basketball owners. I’ll take a look at which players are feeling a fantasy impact from this blockbuster between Philadelphia and Minnesota.

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What Jimmy Butler Trade Means in Fantasy Basketball

Butler enters a similar situation in Philadelphia where he completes a trio with two young stars. Ben Simmons will remain the primary playmaker in Philly, which will lead to Butler getting more open looks. The Sixers lost just over 22 points per game from Saric and RoCo. Butler should fill that void rather easily. Simmons might take fewer shots and Butler might dip in the assist department. Embiid should go relatively unaffected. Fantasy basketball owners have nothing to worry about regarding the Sixers’ new Big 3.

Philadelphia lost two starters and as a result, over 64 minutes per game. Jimmy will get around 34 minutes. Where the remaining 30 minutes go remains to be seen. There are a few candidates vying for the task.

JJ Redick will likely get a slight bump to his minutes. Even though he might not be starting games, he’s been part of the Sixers’ most used lineup this year. Philly lost two capable shooters in the deal, and while Jimmy isn’t a poor shooter, he only attempts 4.5 per game. Redick instantly becomes the best shooter in the starting lineup next to Embiid. Redick owners should feel pretty good about this deal. If you have the chance to grab him from an owner worried about his playing time moving forward, go ahead and take advantage.

A couple of other players in Philadelphia that could see an increased timeshare in the rotation are Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. Chandler is still working his way back from an injury but fits right into Covington’s role. He’ll be a 3 and D wing who can play some four in small ball rotations. Muscala is another guy that could see a bit of added playing time. He was performing better than Saric on the offensive end averaging career highs in minutes (20.6) and 3PA (3.6). Both he and Chandler will figure to go through hot streaks at some point, but nothing to warrant a pickup yet.

Markelle Fultz has been shaky as of late and more controversy is resurfacing surrounding his shoulder injury. Adding Butler to the equation doesn’t bode well for the sophomore. He’s shooting a dismal 39% from the floor and the shoulder ailment doesn’t give much hope for improvement on that number. Fultz is owned in just over 50% of Yahoo leagues. At this point, he’s droppable for a better fit for your team build.

It’s worth noting Landry Shamet played 42 minutes against the Grizzlies. He also took 11 threes, showing Philly’s desperation for 3-point shooting. Butler’s addition to the lineup will hurt the rookie guard’s playing time. But he’s more linked to Fultz’s minutes anyway. Keep your eye on him. They trusted him to take 11 threes. That could give him the edge over other guys in the rotation. He’s a speculative add in deep leagues.

Minnesota is bolstering their lineup in this deal. The TWolves lost their Big 3, but added depth in the process. There will be some fantasy casualties along the way since the Wolves are adding minutes and gaining a rotation spot.

A point of interest will be the decision at power forward. Anthony Tolliver’s 19.4 minutes seem to be in jeopardy here. Like Tolliver, Saric is a stretch four that mimics a lot of Towns’ game. Tolliver has played alongside Towns for a grand total of 31 minutes and 36 seconds. Don’t expect Tom Thibodeau to change that much with Saric. Tolliver looks like a drop in deeper leagues.

Saric will also see a slight reduction in minutes now that Towns is back as the main focus. Coach Thibodeau’s old school mentality will likely have Saric paired with Taj Gibson or Gorgui Dieng rather than with Towns. I expect Gibson to remain the starter and Saric to play Towns’ role with the second unit. Saric is a hold until his situation gets a bit clearer with his playing time.

Robert Covington enters the Wolves lineup in Butler’s spot. RoCo’s defense will keep him in the lineup. Covington likely won’t keep averaging 1.8 blocks and steals but his production shouldn’t drop off. He’s also the 3 and D player Minnesota needs to complement their offensively-oriented stars.

Finally, Towns and Wiggins owners should have some peace of mind with Butler’s departure. The trade all but gives them the green light to lead this team. Wiggins should get back to averaging over 20 points per game. He averaged just 17.6 with Butler in the lineup. He immediately jumps back to being the Wolves second option when he returns from his quad injury (although Derrick Rose might have something to say about that).

The trade doesn’t really affect anyone else on the Timberwolves roster. Derrick Rose will continue to see minutes as long as he keeps turning back the clock. Josh Okogie may have less of those 30-minute games with Covington and Wiggins unlikely to take days off as Butler did. Taj Gibson may lose some minutes with an extra big joining the roster, but his role is not in jeopardy.

All in all, the players trending down as a result of the Jimmy Butler trade are Fultz, Tolliver, and Gibson slightly. Trending up are Wiggins, Towns, and Redick. Jimmy Butler should keep producing for fantasy basketball owners. Enough to justify his second-round selection. KAT owners must be relieved the situation is dealt with, Towns and Wiggins are finally unleashed. Now it’s time for them to show why the team put their trust in them. The Jimmy Butler trade is a big deal in real life basketball, not so much from a fantasy basketball perspective.

If you have any fantasy basketball questions, feel free to ask me on twitter @JPBalladier

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