Knicks weren’t interested in signing Jimmy Butler in 2019 NBA free agency

The New York Knicks had high hopes for the summer of 2019 when Zion Williamson was the consensus No. 1 pick and both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were set to become free agents. They came up empty but could they have signed Jimmy Butler?

It seems unlikely that Butler would have chosen to play for the Knicks when considering how quickly he decided to play for the Miami Heat. However, New York apparently wasn’t even interested in taking that chance.

According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the previous management for the Knicks weren’t interested in signing Butler due to his leadership style and defense.

It’s difficult to envision the Knicks achieving much on the court had they signed Butler. The bottom line is that New York faces no quick fix because their inability to hit on draft picks and their over-willingness to spend on underwhelming role players that prove to be less-than-deal fits.

The Heat and Butler clearly are an ideal match where his personality and leadership approach mesh and thrive together. When considering how his tenures with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers ended, it’s understandable to see how he found his way to Miami.

It’s safe to say Jimmy Butler’s decision to sign with the Miami Heat in 2019 has provided no reason to be upset about the New York Knicks not wanting to sign him. While Butler and the Heat are in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Knicks are hoping to make the playoffs in 2021.

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About Grant Afseth 1232 Articles
Grant Afseth is an NBA reporter for NBA Analysis Network and Dallas Mavericks reporter for He previously covered the Indiana Pacers and NBA for CNHI's Kokomo Tribune and various NBA teams for USA TODAY Sports Media Group. Follow him on Twitter (@grantafseth), Facebook (@grantgafseth), and YouTube (@grantafseth).