Five Potential Trade Scenarios for Jimmy Butler

    Jimmy Butler is taking the next step to get out of Minnesota. Butler, who becomes a free agent after the season, will sit out Wednesday’s game against

    October 31, 2018

    Jimmy Butler is taking the next step to get out of Minnesota.

    Butler, who becomes a free agent after the season, will sit out Wednesday’s game against Utah in an effort to get the Timberwolves to trade him, according to Stadium NBA Insider Shams Charania. This is part of a six-week process aimed at Butler getting his trade request fulfilled, according to Charania.

    The Heat and Rockets have reportedly reached out to the Timberwolves about Butler, with Houston reportedly willing to surrender four first-round picks. According to multiple reports, Butler previously named the Nets, Knicks and Clippers as teams he’d be willing to sign a long-term extension with in the offseason.

    Here are five trade scenarios for each of the franchises linked to Butler.

    Miami gets: Jimmy Butler

    Minnesota gets: Kelly Olynyk, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, 2020 first-round pick

    Miami has made it evident that they want to compete now and Butler would give them the two-way star that they need. As a bonus, they get to keep key youngsters like Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo.

    For Minnesota, Olynyk will fit well next to Karl-Anthony Towns or Taj Gibson, and his contract is tradable should the Timberwolves look for a reset. Richardson and McGruder offer Minnesota outside shooting and youth, giving them good pieces moving forward.

    The Heat can trade either its 2019 or 2020 pick, but the Timberwolves would want the one that could come in a season without Butler in South Beach. If Butler’s holdout continues and Miami comes calling, this could be the best value Minnesota gets.

    Houston gets: Jimmy Butler

    Minnesota gets: PJ Tucker, Brandon Knight, 2019, 2021 and 2023 first-round picks

    The reason this scenario currently fails on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine is due to Knight’s trade restriction, which expires Wednesday. The salaries will match with Knight and Tucker in the deal, but neither player gives Minnesota the ability to win now.

    Eric Gordon could be substituted for either player, but the Rockets aren’t going to part with another key piece for the rental that Butler might be. The Rockets have reportedly offered four first-round selections (remember that NBA teams can’t trade their first-round pick in consecutive years), but for the sake of differentiation we’ll stop at three picks.

    Houston GM Daryl Morey is always looking to make a big splash, which could be a factor if Butler’s holdout continues.

    Brooklyn gets: Jimmy Butler

    Minnesota gets: Kenneth Faried, Jared Dudley, Caris LeVert, 2019 first-round pick

    Nets GM Sean Marks has set this team up for big things in the summer of 2019, but Brooklyn could cash in its chips now, land Butler and lock him up for the future.

    While the Nets seem to be done with dealing high first-round picks, they’ll likely have two first-round selections in the 2019 draft to work with depending on what the Nuggets do. Brooklyn can send either pick to Minnesota while also giving them two veteran forwards and a promising young shooting guard.

    Depending on what type of offers Minnesota receives from other teams, this might be the best deal in terms of pure value because of the expiring contracts.

    New York gets: Jimmy Butler

    Minnesota gets: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, 2019 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick

    Knicks management has preached patience and diligence with its young core this offseason. Ntilikina is certainly part of that core, but the Knicks are attempting to be major players in 2019 and a midseason trade for Butler would allow them to entice other free agents.

    New York still gets to keep Kevin Knox and Kristaps Porzingis in this scenario, but gives the Timberwolves two players who can develop into solid contributors and a veteran who could help the team this season.

    The Timberwolves won’t take this type of deal unless they’re intent on rebuilding, meaning a 2019 first-round pick would likely need to be included in addition to a future selection. Minnesota can ask for more picks or attempt to swap Ntilikina with Knox, but the Knicks probably won’t do that.

    LA gets: Jimmy Butler, Justin Patton

    Minnesota gets: Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, Jerome Robinson, 2021 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick

    A deal with Los Angeles logically makes sense for both parties because the Clippers have some veteran pieces that could theoretically help Minnesota remain competitive. The biggest issue with this deal is LA being unable to send a first-round pick until 2021. The likelihood of Thibodeau remaining in Minnesota to see those draft picks come to fruition is looking very slim.

    Patton gets thrown in as a salary filler who will hit free agency, but the Clippers can take a chance on him since Minnesota has already passed.

    Robinson gives the T-Wolves a young shooting guard to develop, while Williams and Harris are players who can help win games now. With the potential to land two max free agents in 2019, the Clippers have big hopes for the future.

    And if they can land Butler, that dream stays alive.


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