After months of rumors and speculation, Jimmy Butler has finally demanded a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coach Tom Thibodeau has tried to convince Butler to rejoin the team in the preseason, but the disgruntled superstar is determined to leave the Timberwolves. If the Timberwolves decide to keep him, Butler reportedly told them that he will still be leaving next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
As of now, several NBA teams have already called the Timberwolves about trading for Jimmy Butler. In any deal involving Butler, the Timberwolves are reportedly eyeing to include backup center Gorgui Dieng and the remaining three years and $48.5 million on his contract. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Timberwolves may seek help from the Sacramento Kings if they are serious about dumping Dieng in the Butler trade.
“To facilitate a Butler trade, the sort of broader deal necessary to meet the financial needs of Minnesota and Butler’s future team, circumstances will necessitate bringing the Sacramento Kings into the process. If the Timberwolves remain intent on unloading backup center Gorgui Dieng and the three years, $48 million left on his contract, they’ll need the Kings. No one in the NBA comes close to the $11 million in salary cap space that the Kings possess to absorb a contract, as well as the several expiring contracts — including Zach Randolph ($11.6 million), Iman Shumpert ($11 million) and Kosta Koufos ($8.7 million) — to move onto a team that prefers to clear cap space in July.”
The latest on Jimmy Butler-Minnesota trade talks, including Sacramento’s push to leverage its cap space to take on a contract in a three-way deal and gather draft assets. https://t.co/ZHISZqIoiP— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 25, 2018
With their roster mostly consisting of young players, the Kings aren’t expected to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference next season. As of now, the Kings are set to prioritize the development of their young core and add promising talents that could be part of their long-term plan. Sacramento proves to be the ideal team who could help the Timberwolves facilitate a Jimmy Butler trade. They currently have $11 million in salary cap space and expiring contracts to trade.
As ESPN noted, the Kings have informed the Timberwolves and teams who are interested in acquiring Jimmy Butler that they are willing to absorb bloated contracts. In return, the Kings are demanding a future first-round pick and/or other assets that can help them speed up the rebuilding process. So far, three NBA teams who have inquired about Butler also have contracts they want to unload on their roster. These include the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Miami Heat.
Even if they won’t play a part in the Jimmy Butler trade, the Kings are reportedly determined to use their salary cap space and expiring contracts to acquire assets for their future.