NBA Trade Talk: Lakers Wanted To Trade For Jimmy Butler, Could Look At Him During Free Agency

The Lakers didn't land him in a trade, but they may get him in free agency.

Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives around Bruce Brown #6 of the Detroit Piston
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

The Lakers didn't land him in a trade, but they may get him in free agency.

As the 2019 trade deadline approached, the majority of the talk in the NBA centered around Anthony Davis possibly heading to the Los Angeles Lakers. When it didn’t happen, everyone began talking about the other moves that did happen. One of those was Jimmy Butler heading to the Philadelphia 76ers, but it has now been revealed that there was a time the Lakers inquired about trading for the guard.

ESPN is reporting that the Lakers were one of several teams to inquire about Jimmy Butler before he was eventually traded to Philly. The Minnesota Timberwolves did have a number of interested teams, but they eventually dealt Butler to the 76ers in exchange for Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, Dario Saric, and a second-round draft pick in 2022.

Since joining the 76ers, Butler has been averaging 18.7 points and 5.2 rebounds which are great numbers that the Lakers truly could have used. He is shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 34 percent from behind the arc.

Since joining the team and in games he has played, Philadelphia is 34-18 with an overall record of 48-27 which has them in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers are 33-42 and have already been eliminated from playoff contention which will mark the first NBA Playoffs without LeBron James since 2005.

The NBA Finals this year will be the first without LeBron James since 2010, but will the Lakers rebound next season? It’s not out of the question for them to still seek out Jimmy Butler even though their focus will be on landing Anthony Davis in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Lakers signed a number of veterans to one-year deals for the 2018-2019 season as they were hoping for a good year and to have a lot of money this summer. Free agency will be huge when the summer rolls around, and Los Angeles wants money free to go after some of the bigger names on the market.

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One of those names could be Jimmy Butler.

While the 76ers did trade for him, Butler has a player option that could allow him to enter free agency after the season is over. If Philly really wants him back, they can make a run at him or the Lakers could be one of the numerous teams looking to acquire his talents for next season.

Of course, the Lakers are going to be that team doing everything in their power to acquire Anthony Davis before the Pelicans trade him to the Knicks, Nuggets, Celtics, or another highest bidder. If Jimmy Butler decides to test the waters, don’t be surprised to see the teams who wanted to trade for him as the suitors looking to sign him again.