It will only be a matter of time before Jimmy Butler parts ways with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Less than a month before the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, the All-Star forward has demanded a trade from the Timberwolves and reportedly gave them a list of his preferred destinations. One of the potential landing spots for Butler is the Brooklyn Nets.
Zach Lowe of ESPN recently created hypothetical trade deals that involve NBA teams who could be interested in acquiring Jimmy Butler. For the Nets, Lowe suggested that they could offer a trade package including Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert, Kenneth Faried, and the Denver Nuggets’ top-12 protected first-round pick to the Timberwolves for Butler and Gorgui Dieng. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“The Wolves would surely prefer DeMarre Carroll, on an expiring deal, over Crabbe, but the Nets have no realistic way to clear that second max slot and take Dieng without jettisoning Crabbe man. Removing both Crabbe and Dieng unlocks some simpler deals. At first blush, this looks like a lot for Brooklyn to give up. LeVert is good. But he also projects as someone who could top out as the fourth-best player on a good team. Denver’s pick could end up No. 20 or worse. Ditching Crabbe’s deal is a plus.”
ESPN story on the latest in the trade circus surrounding Minnesota All-Star Jimmy Butler. https://t.co/uzPYgn4mir
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
Though Jimmy Butler is expected to test the free agency market next summer, the Nets could use the 2018-19 NBA season to convince him to stay long-term in Brooklyn and become their main free-agent recruiter. Even if the Nets sign Butler to a max contract, they will still have enough salary cap space to chase another big name next offseason. The 2019 NBA free agency will be loaded with several NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan.
Having two superstars on their roster will undeniably make the Nets a significant team in the league once again. In the past months, there have been rumors that Butler and Kyrie Irving want to play together on one team. However, In a recent interview with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Irving denied the rumors linking him to Butler, saying that the last time they had a discussion about their future was in 2016.
As of now, there is no official confirmation on if the Nets plan on trading for Jimmy Butler. Also, it remains unknown if the Nets have enough trade assets that can convince the Timberwolves to make a deal. Sean Deveney of Sporting News revealed that the Timberwolves are expected to demand a “comparable veteran” in any deal involving their disgruntled superstar.