Without the face of the franchise, Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of developing their young players and strengthening their chance of acquiring a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, when the season is over, the Knicks are expected to make big moves that could turn them from a rebuilding team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks are currently in a strong position to create enough salary cap space to chase a big name in the summer of 2019. The 2019 NBA free agency will be featuring several NBA superstars including Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan. During the 2018 NBA offseason, rumors and speculations were circulating that Butler and Irving want to play together in one team with the Knicks as one of their preferred landing spots.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, Kyrie Irving has already verbally agreed to sign a long-term contract with the Boston Celtics next summer, while according to a Twitter post by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jimmy Butler was “never interested” in joining the Knicks.
“A source close to the situation said Jimmy Butler was never interested in going to the
#Knicks as was reported before the #Sixers acquired him in a trade from the #Minnesota #Timberwolves. Butler has moved on from all the trade talk and is happy with the #Sixers.”
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 28, 2018
It’s easy to understand why Jimmy Butler isn’t interested in joining the Knicks. The 29-year-old superstar definitely wants to spend his prime playing for a legitimate title contender than a rebuilding team. Even with a healthy Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks are not better than Butler’s former team, Minnesota Timberwolves, who have Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and other proven veterans.
As of now, Jimmy Butler no longer wants to talk about any trades and said that he’s happy with the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I don’t know and to tell you the truth, I don’t even talk about the trade no more, because I’m here, and I’m loving it here. All of that is in the past. So I leave it just there,” Butler said, via Philadelphia Inquirer.
Now that the drama surrounding him has ended, Butler wants to focus on helping the Sixers fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference this season. When the Timberwolves-Sixers trade became official, Butler reportedly expressed his intention to sign a long-term contract with Philadelphia when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.