Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Reports: Jimmy Butler’s trade preference is Clippers, Knicks less interested

Minnesota Timberwoves v Los Angeles Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 06: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves passes around Wesley Johnson #33 and Danilo Gallinari #8 of the LA Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on December 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Knicks president Steve Mills said New York wouldn’t trade its draft picks and wouldn’t trade for players it could just sign in free agency. In other words: No more Carmelo Anthony- or Andrea Bargnani-type deals.

Then, Jimmy Butler – who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer – requested a trade from the Timberwolves and put the Knicks on his list of preferred destinations (with the Nets and Clippers).

Will Mills hold firm in his patient plan?

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Brooklyn and the Clippers appear motivated on Butler, while the Knicks have been firm all summer that the team does not want to part with assets and instead prioritize signing free agents outright, according to sources.

The Knicks should be reluctant to trade for Butler now. Especially with Kristaps Porzingis injured, Butler is unlikely to help New York win meaningfully this season. It’d be much better to sign him next summer and preserve assets.

But there’s no guarantee the Knicks sign him next summer. Whichever team has his Bird Rights and ability to offer him a larger contract will have the upper-hand. There is value in trading for him now.

Perhaps, the Knicks can find a worthwhile Butler trade that includes trading picks. The only way to find out is negotiating with Minnesota. For New York to eliminate the idea outright because the team made mistakes in similar situations would be misguided.

But Knicks are going to Knick.

At least New York isn’t Butler’s first choice.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Might that other max slot go to Kyrie Irving?

First, L.A. must make the best offer to the Timberwolves and one acceptable to a reportedly reluctant Tom Thibodeau. Then, the Clippers must lure Irving – or any star (Kawhi Leonard?) – from his team.

It’s easy to imagine. It’s far more difficult to turn into reality.