The NBA world was thrown for a loop on Wednesday when it learned that Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler formally requested a trade away from the team. As is the case with any trade rumor, there was rampant speculation.
Would the Lakers be able to put a package together that would bring Butler in to play alongside LeBron James? Could the Celtics pull off another late offseason shocker and gain yet another elite piece? Some even believed that Butler could return to his home state of Texas to play with the reigning MVP in James Harden, for the Rockets.
The story became even more interested when Butler’s shortlist of preferred teams was revealed. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler would prefer to be traded to either the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks.
Minnesota's Jimmy Butler has three preferred destinations for a trade, league sources tell ESPN: The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Those three teams have max cap space to sign Butler as a free agent in July.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2018
With none of the teams named being considered true contenders (none of them made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season), it’s clear that Butler wants to be the focal point of whatever team acquires him. All three of the teams, with perhaps the exception of the New York Knicks, can accommodate that need.
Butler would easily be the best player on the team if he is traded to either the Clippers or Nets and therefore the offense would run through him. Defensively, Butler would be an upgrade for any team that trades for him, as he is one of the premier perimeter defenders in the NBA.
Here’s a look at how Jimmy Butler would fit on the three teams that he’s requested to be traded to:
Next Up: Team Three