Any team that trades for Jimmy Butler will be doing so understanding the risk of potentially losing him next summer in free agency. The four-time All-Star has a player option for 2019-20 that he is almost certainly going to decline. A new report from The Athletic sheds light on the type of money he is looking for.
Butler, according to Jon Krawczynski, sought a contract extension this summer that would have added four years and $145 million to his deal.
Pro Basketball Talk notes that he could make close to that on the open market next summer if he foregoes his player option to leave Minnesota. He could also make about $190 million over five years next offseason if he re-signs.
This is noteworthy for anyone trying to connect the dots to their favorite team. The Wizards, for instance, would essentially have to trade one of their max contracts – John Wall, Bradley Beal or Otto Porter, Jr. – and do so for a guy in Butler who is older than them (he’s 29) and has an injury history.
Butler had surgery to repair his meniscus in February and had surgery on his hand this summer. Any contract extension would take him well into his 30s.
The NBA’s new salary structure allows for players to make way more money than they did before and Butler is in line to be one of the next to capitalize on the financial windfall. Salary cap room is one reason why Butler’s preferred destinations of the Knicks, Clippers and Nets make sense, as they can pay him big money next summer.
The new salaries in the NBA basically give teams room for one supermax player. The Wizards already have Wall set to begin his four-year, $170 million deal in the 2019-20 season. His salary will jump from $19.1 million this year to $37.8 million in the first year of his next contract.
Keep this in mind, NBA fans, as you come up with scenarios for Butler and where the Timberwolves should trade him.
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