Three teams that can sign Jimmy Butler

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

There is only 23 days until the opening tip in the NBA, but the drama is already heating up.

The biggest news at the moment is Jimmy Butler. The shooting guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves has demanded a trade. Over the summer he declined a contract extension and has made it clear he will not resign with the team.

However, it’s the request for a trade complicates matters. The Timberwolves made the playoffs last year as the eighth seed. They made it in by one game alone. They have veteran leaders with Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague, along with young explosive talent like Karl-Anthonly Towns and Andrew Wiggons.

With Butler as their star guard, this team is looking to compete for a title right now. You cannot compete in the NBA without a star. Any trade that includes Butler would not include top tier talent that would help the team win right now, but rather a package that has young talent and draft picks.

The decision to have Butler as a trade comes with little surprise. After denying a contract extension he seemed upset with Minnesota. Only more rumors will circulate about how the relationship with Towns truly is and if that is the reason for the final decision.

Head coach for the T-Wolves Tom Thibodaux has denied hearing any trade request and has shot down the numerous offers they have received for him.

What will Butler do? He is following the footsteps of Kawahi Leonard who last year demanded a trade, then had an existing injury rehab, despite being cleared by the team’s doctors. The belief is that Leonard was healthy enough to play, but wouldn’t play for the Spurs and wanted to be traded. He got his trade request finalized and moved to Toronto.

If Butler decides to hold out and not play for the team, they will look to move him before the season starts or by the latest the trade deadline in December. Butler has placed three priorities for being traded.

The first team is the Los Angeles Clippers. Why? Two reasons. First Butler has made it clear he wants to play with another superstar. The talks of the impressive 2019 free agency class is exciting news for any team with cap space. The Clippers can sign two max deals at the end of the season and Butler would be one of them.

Leonard expressed interest in any Los Angeles teams, along with Kyrie Irving, who has stated he would like to play with long-time friend Butler. The Clippers being in Los Angeles and having cap space has made Leonard choose this franchise as his top priority. Second is the New York Knicks.

The Knicks have a top talent player and room to sign more. Kristops Porzingis a.k.a. The Unicorn, has created an interesting environment in New York. His talent is undeniable and players like Butler, and Irving want to play with him. They could run the east with little competition and try and beat the Warriors.

Finally, the third team on Butler’s list is Brooklyn Nets. This team has no stars and only cap space. This is the worst team to trade with due to the lack of talent on the organization. This team will not land a trade with the T-Wolves but could sign Butler in free agency.

There are realistic trade opportunities for other teams to trade for Butler. First, the Denver Nuggets. They got rid of large contract players and have room to absorb his current contract. They would offer Gary Harris and Trey Lyles a protected pick for Butler. Harris is a starting level shooting guard and Lyles a young 3 and D stretch big. Along with a pick or two this package is the best the team could get.

Other teams may have assists and space, but nothing the Timberwolves seemed interested in. Time will tell if this team decides to trade their star or not.

This drama is only within positioning, but center for Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid is calling out rookie Deandre Ayton. Ayton comes into the draft with comparisons to Embiid for size, strength and speed. Ayton took this like it was a compliment, and Embiid thought it was an insult. On social media he calls out any reporter comparing the young talent to him. He believes it is wrong and Ayton is nowhere near his talent rank.

Recently his thoughts on Ayton were that someone is going to kick his butt., literally. The tweet has circulated all around the NBA, and it is clear we cannot wait to watch Embiid go all out against the Suns Nov. 19.

The drama showcases why people love the NBA and hope it will continue to grow. As feuds grow and grow so does my need for the return of the NBA. The preseason begins this Saturday with the Trailblazers versus the Raptors at 6:00 p.m.