The departure of Jimmy Butler in Minnesota is inevitable, especially after the All-Star forward demanded a trade from the Timberwolves. Coach Tom Thibodeau initially hesitated to make Butler available on the trading block, but Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has reportedly mandated them to move the disgruntled superstar in the next several days, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. One of the NBA teams who is expected to express strong interest in acquiring Butler is the Washington Wizards.
Now that LeBron James is playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Wizards finally have a chance to become the new ruler of the Eastern Conference. They have managed to improve their roster with the acquisition of Dwight Howard in the recent offseason. However, in order to strengthen their chance of beating Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors in a best-of-seven series, the Wizards should consider adding another superstar to their team.
Zach Lowe of ESPN recently created hypothetical trade ideas that involve teams that may consider trading for Jimmy Butler. For the Wizards, Lowe suggested that they could send a trade package including Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre, and Markieff Morris to the Timberwolves for Butler and Taj Gibson. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“How about Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, and Markieff Morris for Gibson and Butler? Would the Wiz have to toss in a pick? I’m unconvinced. Minnesota gets three legit rotation players for a post-Butler playoff push, and two versatile young wings in Oubre and Porter. This deal pushes Minnesota a hair over the tax, but they’d be able to duck back under. (The simpler deal — Porter and Oubre for Butler — takes Minnesota too far over.) Washington has no means to pay Oubre with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter earning (gulp) $92 million between them in 2019-20.”
The potential acquisition of Jimmy Butler will undeniably give the Wizards a higher chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. A starting lineup featuring John Wall, Bradley Beal, Butler, Taj Gibson, and Dwight Howard will be a huge headache to any contenders in the league, especially if they succeed to build good chemistry.
Butler will give the Wizards another reliable scoring option next to Wall and Beal. Butler will also improve the Wizards’ defense that ranks 15th in the league. In 59 games he played last season, the 29-year-old small forward averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 2.0 steals on 47.4 percent shooting from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.