The Jimmy Butler sweepstakes are officially underway. It seems that the disgruntled star will be out of Minneapolis sooner rather than later. The FPC NBA staff discusses who will trade for Butler and what the package will look like.
Jimmy Butler will be a Brooklyn Net sooner rather than later. In recovering from the Billy King catastrophe, Sean Marks has done a commendable job rebuilding the Nets and adding talent with minimal draft capital. Brooklyn has built a solid core of young talent and has the money to give Butler the contract he’ll seek. I would expect the Nets to give up a package that looks like DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis Jefferson, and the Nuggets’ 2019 first round pick.
Eduardo Monk Jr.:
As the Timberwolves blindly hopeful kingdom crumbles around them, Jimmy Butler will be the first to jump ship. Not reporting to training camp highlights the internal drama and acute rift between the franchise and Butler, an awkward element that will cause Butler wanting out as soon as he can. But the Timberwolves can afford to be slightly more patient and don’t have a contract expiration breathing down their neck. Either way, mixing in the multiple teams vying for Butler, he won’t be a Timberwolf for much longer.
Among these teams seems to be the logical front-runner, the Brooklyn Nets. While a characteristic bottom feeder, the Nets rebuild plan appears mildly successful, loading up on decent prospects, picks, and even flaunt a secondary star in Ohio State product D’Angelo Russell. They feel keen on acquiring a proven star to crack themselves into contention and considering the weak state of the Eastern Conference. A Butler deal will undoubtedly be enough for a playoff and maybe even a tad more.
When looking at the preferred destinations for Jimmy Butler (‘TimberBulls’ party pooper), The most enticing options for the Timberwolves would appear to be either Brooklyn or Los Angeles. Likely looking for a first round pick and some solid role players, a team like the Clippers could offer great value. Because even with the addition of Butler, their first-round pick would still very likely be in the lottery. And if L.A’s willing to throw Tobias Harris into the mix, Minnesota would be fools to turn the deal down.
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Word is The Miami Heat have been ultra-aggressive in their pursuit of Butler. But given the slew of bad contracts that the Heat have on their roster, there is very little wiggle room for them to get a deal done, at least for any players the Wolves would want. But the real question is what are you getting in a deal for Butler? He’s been a malcontent in Chicago and insufferable in Minnesota. Plus, he has mileage on his body and had a lingering knee problem that might continue to persist.
There’s no questioning his work ethic and maybe that’s the problem because Butler seems to not be accountable to anyone. The star is in need of a reset to repair his image and needs to win now as he’s in the middle of his prime. Philly has a need at the wing position and the young assets that they could send without totally gutting their roster. With the East wide open, a trade here makes the most sense.
As of Sunday’s reports, the Raptors have emerged as a dark horse bidder for Jimmy Butler. I predict them to offer Minnesota Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, and Delon Wright with their 2020 first round pick in exchange for Jimmy Butler and Gorgui Dieng. The Raptors would absorb Dieng’s contract as an incentive for Minnesota to trade Butler. Minnesota would accept because they’re in dire need of a power forward with defensive ability and veteran experience (Ibaka) and bench depth and youth (Powell, Wright).
I believe Jimmy Butler will go to the Miami Heat and it would actually be a very good fit. The Heat were competitive the last few years without a star of a player like Butler and he would open up the offense and defense. He would also be in a big market, get his minutes not managed and play with better defenders. They’re seemingly a match made in heaven.
The Trailblazers with Jimmy Butler could make incredible improvements on both sides of the ball. While the Portland backcourt may have great offensive fire power, they lack for it in defense. Jimmy Butler could come in and provide immediate impact and help the Trailblazers attempt to contend in the West.