A few weeks ago, Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the organization a handful of destinations he preferred. The Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks were his initial choices, but he added the Miami Heat most recently to his list.
Currently, the Heat and Clippers are the only two teams actively pursuing him, but the asking price from the Wolves has been extremely steep. From Miami, they want Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, and a protected 2019 first-round pick, plus additional pieces. From the Clippers, they want Tobias Harris attached to any deal.
In addition to Butler, the Timberwolves want to unload Gorgui Dieng’s contract, which may have to include a third team. However, if the Heat and Clippers are unable to make a deal, then these are three other teams that should try for Jimmy.
3. Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have an excellent backcourt, but they haven’t seemed to achieve anything over the last few seasons. Perhaps, they need change. They may need a two-way player in mix with Damian Lillard rather than having an offensive-minded two guard. Trading C.J. McCollum along with Meyers Leonard for Dieng and Butler could become beneficiary for both teams. While the Timberwolves get a proven player to add to the young core, the Blazers get a top-tier superstar with the ability to create offensively and defend at a high level.
2. Washington Wizards
While it may be difficult to construct a suitable deal with the Wizards, the Timberwolves could perhaps ask for a package around Otto Porter Jr. that includes young players such as Kelly Oubre and Troy Brown. The Timberwolves may also need a first-rounder included in this deal to sweeten things up. For the Wizards, they would have a culture-changing two-way player to compliment the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, which would give them a more complete starting five.
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Since the Anthony Davis era, the Pelicans’ biggest flaw has been at the wing. They’ve had a tough time finding a small forward that would fit in both offensively and defensively. Fortunately, Jimmy Butler would be the perfect fit and would fulfill their needs. However, a trade with New Orleans would be extremely complicated and would probably need a third team to help facilitate the trade.
Obviously, these teams would be taking a gamble on Butler since he will become a free agent in 2019 and could choose his preferred destination during the summer, but it’s worth a try for all three of them. Why? Because these teams have nothing to lose and could potentially hit the reset button if Butler doesn’t work out.