From Chicago Bulls To Minnesota Timberwolves To … Where will Jimmy Butler Play Next?
By RahimAli Merchant
Over the past few days, Jimmy Butler has made it known he wants out of Minnesota after just one season with a young, uprising team.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of four teams to try building a super team. The goal was to knock off the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers from the top of the league. Minnesota acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in a draft night trade in 2017. That trade would also give them the No. 16 pick (Justin Patton). In return, the Timberwolves traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen) to the Bulls.
This trade reunited Butler with coach Thibodeau, and everyone thought it was going to be the 2011 Chicago Bulls all over again. That team finished with the No. 1 seed in the eastern conference. After this trade, the Wolves added former teammate Taj Gibson. Later they added Derrick Rose mid-season. Let’s not forget they already had the young, talented stars like Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns.
With these pieces, the Wolves managed to make the playoffs (8th seed) for the first time since the 2003-2004 season. That was when Kevin Garnett lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, who were led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. That didn’t seem like something Butler wanted to be a part of anymore. They lost to the Houston Rockets in five games. We didn’t see much of anything from the Timberwolves offense. But it was like that all season, and we knew that this day was coming soon.
Not really sure what Butler’s intentions were when he asked to be traded this past week, but it is apparent that he isn’t happy with the Timberwolves organization. There were reports about him and Wiggins having issues. In case you missed it, Andrew’s brother, Nick, responded to Butler’s trade request with a tweet saying, “Hallelujah.” Butler responded in his own right with this tweet seen here!
Not quite sure where this twitter beef will get either one of them, but it was unclear if the Timberwolves owners and front office wanted to trade Butler. That was until they locked up one of their all-star players, Karl Anthony-Towns. Karl Anthony-Towns and the Timberwolves agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-max deal. But now what do they do with Butler?
If they decided to keep Butler for this year and let him opt-out after that summer, where would that leave them? I mean let’s be honest, Butler most likely won’t stay where he gets traded to anyways, unless it’s a team on his wishlist. Those teams are the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets. Now, why would anybody with star-caliber like Butler want to go to Brooklyn by himself? The same reason LeBron left Cleveland for Miami and then again for L.A. It’s all about endorsement deals, and when you’re in a big market like L.A. or N.Y. that is more possible.
But also remember that Butler can opt-out of his current contract at the end of the season with the Timberwolves or any other team he gets traded too, so what value is really there for him. I guess we’ll have to wait and see! I didn’t think a deal was going to get done that worked out for the Spurs. Turned out Kawhi and DeMar DeRozan made pretty good sense to me. Although, I don’t think the teams on Butler’s wishlist have that big of a value to trade for him. I mean all three teams missed the playoffs, but is he really the answer for them?
I believe Butler will go back East and settle in on one team for a year where he can be the star. But then, here come the superstars. If you thought LeBron James becoming a Laker was something shocking, just wait until next summer when we have way more superstars available.
I mean let’s check out the potential free agents for next summer and see who we can pair with Butler who could actually work out.
Al Horford (Player), Kyrie Irving (Player), Kemba Walker (UFA), Harrison Barnes (Player), Paul Millsap (Team), Kevin Durant (Player), Klay Thompson (UFA), DeMarcus Cousins (UFA), Goran Dragic (Player), Kristaps Porzingis (Restricted), Kawhi Leonard (UFA), and Dwight Howard (Player)
So regardless of where Butler ends up, he could add one or two more guys with him. They could then look to take over the crown from the Golden State Warriors. I’m not sure what to really think of all this. Maybe you can help me figure out where this all went wrong?
Comment below to let me know where you think Butler should be traded to and who you think might join up with Butler next summer to create another super team that we all are waiting for!