As the 2018-19 NBA season draws closer, the Los Angeles Clippers are still trying to figure out exactly which direction they want to head. They appear to be heading towards a bit of a rebuild, but acquiring a star is still very much in the cards. L.A. wanted to snag Kawhi Leonard this offseason, but that didn’t end up happening.
Looking ahead at potential players that could become available this year ahead of the NBA trade deadline, there is one guy that may make sense for the Clippers. That player would be Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler.
Butler has been frustrated with how things are being run in Minnesota. He doesn’t like young players who do not show interest in improving and winning. Being traded may very well be the best option for Butler and the T-Wolves, especially with his contract expiring following the upcoming season.
Bleacher Report has suggested that the Clippers could be one of the teams to watch in trade talks surrounding Butler. They certainly have the young talent to put together a trade package and the Wolves will not allow locker room problems to derail their season.
“Mash this all together, and the Timberwolves are shaping up to be one of this season’s best theatrical draws. They may be more against trading their star than any other team featured here, but Butler has the stewing leverage to leave them with no choice.”
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 6, 2018
Last season with Minnesota, Butler put together a solid all-around year, although he did miss some time due to injury. He averaged 22.2 points per game to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Butler shot 47.4 percent from the field overall and knocked down 35.0 percent of his three-point attempts.
Adding a talent like Butler would help take the Clippers forward in the Western Conference. They would be making the deal in hopes that Butler would re-sign on a long-term deal. If he doesn’t, however, the Clippers would be trading a nice package of assets for just half of a season with the star wing player.
Doc Rivers and company need to make a decision soon about what direction they want to go. A rebuild isn’t the worst thing in the world, but hanging in the middle between rebuilding and trying to contend is a place no one wants to be.
Expect to see the Clippers gauge value on a few different potential trade targets as the trade deadline draws closer. Butler may not end up being dealt by the Wolves, but if he is put on the trade block, the Clippers will come calling.