Way back on July 15, I saw this trade coming. (Read the original article). Jimmy Butler did NOT fit in with the Timberwolves’ core, and I beg to question if he’d fit with any core.
The bottom line is that I see Jimmy Butler has an overhyped defensive stopper who has an average offensive game that was exposed by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs last season.
The Timberwolves put too many eggs into the “Jimmy Butler basket” and I fear another team will make the same mistake. The three teams rumored for Butler are the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks, all capable of offering two max contracts in the upcoming offseason. Let’s take a look at some trade scenarios.
Jimmy Butler to the New York Knicks
Timberwolves Receive: Frank Ntilikina, Courtney Lee, Isaiah Hicks, 2019 First Round Pick
Knicks Receive: Jimmy Butler
This is an exact replica of one of the trades I created in the original article. While at first, it seems the Knicks are overpaying, Jimmy Butler could be the key for a new super team to take place in New York. According to J.R. Smith, Kyrie’s chances of leaving Boston for New York are “high.” The idea of playing with his former Olympic best friend and Kristaps Porzingis may be too much for Kyrie to pass up.
Jimmy Butler to the Brooklyn Nets
Timberwolves Receive: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Allen Crabbe, 2019 First Round Pick (Top 10 Protected)
Nets Receive: Jimmy Butler
I don’t love the idea of Jimmy Butler for the Nets and I have a strange feeling they don’t either. The Nets will have the ability to make their own first round pick for the first time since 2013 when they selected Mason Plumlee.
If the Nets did decide to risk it all again for a star player, a trade could look something like this. Hollis-Jefferson is a solid young player who could seamlessly replace Butler for the Timberwolves. Allen Crabbe essentially adds a contract to line up the salaries, but could also help the Timberwolves with their lack of shooting, and finally, despite their cautiousness with their picks, the Nets would likely be willing to part ways with a pick in the upcoming years as long as they are ensured it wouldn’t be top 10.
Jimmy Butler to the Los Angeles Clippers
Timberwolves Receive: Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, 2021 Second Round Pick
Clippers Receive: Jimmy Butler
With rumors swirling around Kawhi Leonard and his potential departure from Toronto to join the Clippers next offseason, Jimmy Butler’s trade demands make this way more interesting. Would their defensive playstyles mesh well in Los Angeles, or would their reportedly selfish personalities clash under the bright lights?
The only way to find out is if the trade goes through. The Clippers would almost certainly have to part ways with Tobias Harris, who will be demanding near-max money next offseason. With the Clippers setting their hopes high on Kawhi and/or Jimmy Butler, Harris won’t draw the attention he deserves from the Clippers. He, along with sharpshooter Patrick Beverley may draw that money from Minnesota who is now desperate for veteran leadership.