Earlier today, it was announced that Jimmy Butler, once again, requested a trade from his current team. This time, Butler wants out of Minnesota and he has made it known that he thinks the team lacks maturity and isn’t ready to compete the way he expects.
Butler made it known to Minnesota that he prefers to go to one of three places: the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, or Los Angeles Clippers.
Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler has three preferred destinations for a trade, league sources tell ESPN: The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Those three teams have max cap space to sign Butler as a free agent in July.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2018
Woj also reported that Tom Thibodeau has no interest in dealing the All-Star swingman. Earlier today, Nick Dowd listed three other teams, mostly contenders, who should consider acquiring the two-way star despite his reported interest in only three other teams. With the way recent superstar trades have gone (Kyrie to Boston, PG to OKC, and Kawhi to Toronto), here’s why New York shouldn’t get cute and they should just go acquire Jimmy Butler now rather than hoping he is drawn to New York in free agency.
It’s no secret that Butler and Kyrie Irving have a desire to play together in the near future, and both are free agents this coming summer. Kyrie is in a fantastic situation in Boston, however, the Knicks were one of his preferred landing spots when he requested a trade from Cleveland. Butler has interest in the Knicks, and so does Kyrie. Why not get one now to help lure the other? Especially if it doesn’t take THAT much to get him.
Originally, my first instinct was to just send Kevin Knox and Joakim Noah to Minnesota, as they fill needs that Minnesota has. In Knox, you get a young stud wing player to pair with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. With Noah, you get a defensive first player who could be a mentor for KAT more than anything. Plus he was a tremendous passer and that could also be beneficial for KAT.
However, I thought about it a little more and noticed Courtney Lee and his team-friendly deal. Lee would fill the vacant spot at the 2-guard spot for Minnesota, and he’s the type of two-way player that Thibs needs for his system. Plus, Lee is good enough to help keep Minnesota in the playoff race. Frank Ntilikina is the real prize for Minnesota, though. Ntilikina is a lengthy, versatile point guard who could easily take the keys to the car from Jeff Teague in the next season or two. New York would have Emmanuel Mudiay to play the PG spot for now, and he showed some flashes last season for the Knicks, until they could target Kyrie Irving in free agency.
The Knicks also haven’t made the postseason in five years, and with a trio of Butler, a recovering Kristaps Porzingis, and Kevin Knox, New York would instantly be in the conversation for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Make the playoffs with that trio, along with Enes Kanter, and then add in Kyrie? Now you’re looking at a contender in the East for years to come.
Don’t mess around and try to wait it out New York. Especially if the price is a 32-year-old wing player, a youthful point guard who will be replaced in the future anyway, and let’s say a 2020 protected first-round pick.