The explosive backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal helped the Washington Wizards become a legitimate playoff contender in the league. Unfortunately, in the last five years, the Wizards’ only greatest achievement was reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite the departure of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards are still not expected to fully dominate the Eastern Conference in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season.
It’s easy to understand why most people don’t see the Wizards on the level of Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors. Wizards superstar John Wall admitted that in order to have a strong chance of competing for the NBA championship title, a team needs at least three superstars on their roster. All the big names in the free agency market have already signed new contracts, but there is one NBA superstar who could soon be available on the trade market – Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that Jimmy Butler will be meeting with Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden this week to discuss his future in Minnesota. Should the Timberwolves not get an assurance that Butler intends to stay beyond the 2018-19 NBA season, rival executives expect Butler to be on the trading block before the February NBA trade deadline. If Butler becomes officially available via trade, the Wizards should make a move, according to SB Nation’s Bullets Forever.
“Add Butler to the Wizards, and things get a lot more leveled. A core of Wall, Beal and Butler puts the Wizards right atop the East, on par the Celtics and the Kawhi Leonard-led Toronto Raptors. That team would have a real chance to make the Eastern Conference Finals—and if things fell into place, a real chance to compete for a championship in the last round. That sort of competitiveness could entice Butler to re-sign and continuity, at that point, would be justified.”
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) September 17, 2018
The potential acquisition of Jimmy Butler will give the Wizards a higher chance of conquering the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and ending their decades of title drought. Butler will undeniably boost the Wizards’ performance on both ends of the floor. In 59 games he played last season, the 29-year-old shooting guard averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and two steals on 47.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Trading for Butler is definitely a huge gamble for the Wizards, but it is a risk they will be needing to take if they want to reach a higher level next season. Expect more rumors to circulate as the 2018-19 NBA season draws near.