With eyes on prize, Butler arrives, shares Sixers' vision

Markelle Fultz

Brett Brown announced that the new starting lineup will be Butler, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler and Joel Embiid, according to The Athletic . "But you have to be part of what's going on in the conversation in the National Basketball Association, and there's a lot of hypotheticals from that standpoint". That's more than enough time to get your act together as a team.

"I mean, I think that whenever you're struggling and you have adversity going on, it just kind of doubles the weight", Tolliver said when asked if the trade request and drama that followed was wearing on the team.

"I was always just focused on hoops", Butler said after the Sixers finished up morning shootaround at a suburban Orlando high school.

"Not at all. It wasn't a changed view of Markelle's future".

"There are some really talented teams [in the Eastern Conference]". His addition to the team gives Philly a better chance to compete in the East, particularly if there's chemistry throughout the lineup. "If it's a close game tonight, what are the one or two things we're going to do to play out of that environment?"

How will Jimmy Butler mesh with his new teammates?

"The amusing part about it is all you hear is 'sources say, ' " Butler said. "For the most part, that's why I don't worry too much about what everybody says". "If you know me, if you're around me, you know my heart and you know how I go about what I go about". You know how I go about what I go about. I love my teammates. Every time I step out onto the court, my goal is to play hard, and the more time I get out there, the more time I get to go hard. "I think I'm an incredible human being, teammate, and I will show that to the guys here".

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Butler says that, despite the amount of attention that's been given to what his next move would be, his focus never wavered.

Brand just wants Butler to stay put. "We hope that we see the fit there this season because we know what kind of talent he is", Brand said. "Then all a sudden he'll come back and he'll take rise-up, fadeaway jump shots and look like a real sort of fluid type of player, real fluid type of motion in his shot".

Markelle Fultz has been starting since the beginning of the season in an effort to build his confidence, but Redick has been the team's selection to close out games.

That's still a ways down the road.

"They're both young, and they're going to get better".

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