Over the course of the past few weeks, there has been a lot of speculation regarding Jimmy Butler’s future. According to several insiders, the guard-forward wasn’t happy at Minnesota, mostly because of an unsolved issue with franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns.
Several reports pointed towards Thibodeau and Butler having a sit down to discuss the two-way stud’s future with the organization, but, according to some breaking news, it seems like the relationship between Butler and the team was broken beyond repair.
Butler is just entering his prime and his two-way expertise could be handy for a lot of teams, and he’s definitely worthy of a max deal, even though he had declined to sign a contract extension with Minnesota earlier in the offseason.
So, now that he has formally requested to be traded out of the cold Minnesota weather, let’s take a look at 6 possible destinations for Jimmy Bucket, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and other rumors.
6. Brooklyn Nets
According to Woj, with this team set to have enough cap space to offer him a max contract extension, Butler wouldn’t mind playing for them this season even if that means not making the playoffs.
Also, several reports point towards him wanting to join forces with free-agent-to-be Kyrie Irving, who has been closely tied with a move to the Brooklyn Nets for months now, so let’s wait and see.
5. New York Knicks
Just like the Nets, the Knicks can offer him a max extension and have also been closely tied with a move for Kyrie Irving, and with both of them willing to dominate the East together, they may finally take this team back to Championship contention.
The Knicks already have a franchise cornerstone in Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox looks like a stud in the making, so that kind of squad could really dominate a LeBron-less Eastern Conference.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
According to several reports, the Los Angeles Clippers are Kawhi Leonard’s favorite destination for the 2019 summer, so it would make a lot of sense for Jimmy Butler to want to be traded to this team.
The Clippers are in a bit of an odd position right now, roster-wise, but they have the kind of assets to pull the trigger and trade for Jimmy Buckets, especially considering they have the money to convince him to stay.
3. Toronto Raptors
If the Toronto Raptors manage to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay put, they could easily lure Jimmy Butler. Both two-way players could instantly lead this team to Championship contention as the team is desperate to enter win-now mode.
Butler is most likely headed to an Eastern Conference team and his talents perfectly suit the Raptors game style, not to mention that he has the character and mentality they have lacked in the playoffs so much.
2. Boston Celtics
What better way of joining forces with Kyrie than just doing it already instead of waiting for the summer? The Celtics have the assets to make any kind of deal they want, and if they’re stacked now, I couldn’t imagine how scary they’d be with Butler on board.
Butler is a player that looks tailor-made for Brad Stevens, a guy that thrives off the defense and that relies on his athleticism to get buckets rather than hog three-pointers. With him, the Warriors would be in trouble.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Surprisingly, it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers are not among the 3 teams Butler demanded to be traded to. He’s been linked with a move to this team for a couple of weeks now, and if they could get him right away, they would definitely represent a major threat for Golden State... but (since he obviously prefers the Clippers), will he stay?
The Lakers are unlikely to take that risk in trading young studs for Butler when they could pursue him or Klay Thompson in the summer. But you never know, considering how aggressive Magic Johnson has been lately, it's definitely possible.