Jimmy Butler rocked the NBA after he requested a trade out of Minnesota. From the Timberwolves’ perspective, there’s lots of incentive to trade him, but it’s worth asking if other teams are willing to take the risk.
That’s because this is the second team where Butler, 29, has fought with teammates despite being good for a 22-5-4 average—one of nine players to do so last season.
As training camp approaches, news of Butler being at odds with young stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns have been at sustained levels all season. Although Butler has named the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and L.A. Clippers as teams he wants to play for, Sports Radio America examines other teams we believe should consider adding the controversial All-Star.
The Bucks barely made the playoffs last season. With the Eastern Conference weak, they seemed like a top four team initially, but finished at 44-38. Big man Thon Maker hasn’t quite lived up to expectations as he was picked 10th in the 2016 NBA Draft. Apart from the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks don’t have any other star players who can ignite a match during the playoffs. Butler could be the player they need to push Milwaukee closer to being a true contender in the East.
As currently constructed, the Celtics are the team to beat in the East and the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors. If the Celtics gave up their core of young talent for Butler, they’d have four All-Stars (Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Holford and Butler). Jimmy could be the player who could push the Celtics side-by-side to the Warriors’ five All-Stars. I’m sure the franchise would be thrilled to have Butler starting on the court as their shooting guard.
Los Angeles Lakers
Butler says he prefers the Clippers over the Lakers, but the Lakers have the trade pieces. Although LeBron James is a Laker, the team is no match for the top teams in the West. A possible trade could include Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart or Brandon Ingram. Hart playing the same position would be the bigger interest, as he was named MVP of the 2018 Summer League, averaging 24.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
The 76ers are another team in the Eastern Conference that has the potential of winning the Eastern Conference Final. With two All-Stars, adding one more would put them neck-and- neck with the Boston Celtics. A possible trade of Robert Covington and a second-round draft pick for Butler would be a huge win for the Sixers. They had a strong 2018 season and with the foundations of players such as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, adding another All-Star would definitely solidify them as one of two teams to beat in the East.