Trading Jimmy Butler was a mistake
The Philadelphia 76ers sacrificed a lot to get Jimmy Butler. They had to let go of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless for the small forward. Getting Butler was a sign that the Sixers management was serious about contending. What they hoped Butler could bring to the team, Butler delivered and even exceeded expectations. His tenacity, hard work, and vocal leadership caused friction to locker rooms of teams he played in, but when it comes to giving 100 percent, Butler laid it all out on the floor every night.
When Joel Embiid gave his opinions on the Ben Simmons situation, he revealed that he thought it was a mistake to let go of Butler just to appease Simmons.
"Our teams have always been built around his needs. So it's just kind of surprising to see. Even going back to, the reason we signed Al, we got rid of Jimmy, which I still think was a mistake, just to make sure he needed the ball in his hands."
Joel Embiid via Kyle Neubeck/Twitter
Ben Simmons situation "disappointing, borderline disrespectful"
Butler only played with Embiid for only one season. He would later be sent to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade defensive guard Josh Richardson. Even if Jimmy only played for Philadelphia in one season, his impact was undeniable. He was instrumental in helping the team reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals, which proved that the gamble to sign him was a good move.
Ultimately, the team changed the roster to favor Ben Simmons, who plays the same position as Jimmy Butler. Simmons needs the ball in his hands to become effective as he is a point forward on the Sixers. Without a decent outside shooting, he could not be a floor spacer waiting for a kick-out pass from Butler or Embiid.
The decision to let Butler go for Simmons could have made the situation worse. Simmons thought he had the muscle and influence for the team to give in to his wishes. As Embiid comments revealed, Ben was borderline disrespectful after what the team did for him.
"The situation is weird, disappointing, borderline kinda disrespectful to all the guys that are out here fighting for their lives. Some guys rely on the team to be successful to stay in the league and make money somehow."
Joel Embiid, via Kyle Neubeck/Twitter
As one of the franchise's cornerstones, it's normal for Embiid to get frustrated, especially after delivering an MVP-like performance last season, as reported by Sideline Sources. Now, Joel just wants to move on. A fresh start without Simmons would be a step in the right direction for the Sixers.