Why Jimmy Butler Could End Up in Los Angeles, But Not with LeBron and a Lakers

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Jimmy Butler knowledge has come to a conduct in Minnesota, as a All-Star brazen has reportedly requested a trade from a Timberwolves, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Butler’s elite trade destinations are a Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, are particularly absent from that list.

According to Wojnarowski, Butler had “once imagined” personification for a Lakers, “but LeBron James‘ attainment as a franchise’s cornerstone done it reduction appealing for Butler in a primary of his career.”

Also per Woj, Butler seems to have eyes privately for that “other” L.A. organisation during this indicate in his process:

Even if Butler changes his mind and adds a Lakers to his list, a beginning they can feasibly trade for him is mid-December.

The Lakers would need to send out during slightest $16.3 million in income in any Butler deal. However, they can’t trade recently sealed players such Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley until Dec. 15 during a earliest.

Phil Long/Associated Press

With so many of their players incompetent to be traded during a moment, a Lakers would need to start Butler trade talks with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. However, that would usually get them to $13.2 million in salary, withdrawal them $3.1 million brief of what they’d need to make a understanding legal.

Including both Ball and Ingram would also be a non-starter for a Lakers, as they’ll have adequate top space subsequent summer to follow players like Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard but sacrificing any of their immature prospects.

If a Lakers wanted to span Butler with James, they would have reason on to Luol Deng‘s agreement instead of shopping him out. Butler was never adequate of a priority for a Lakers, not if it meant interruption with a resources required to tempt a T-Wolves to take on Deng’s full $36.8 million income during a time.

Instead, a Clippers competence be a favorites to land Butler. 

The Clips are well-situated for subsequent summer, as they’re staid to have ceiling of $56 million in top space. A straight-up barter of Butler and Danilo Gallinari would work salary-wise, as Gallinari is underneath agreement for $44.2 million through 2019-20. Such a understanding would leave a Clippers with $48.3 million in room next summer even after accounting for Butler’s $30.7 million top hold, that is some-more than adequate to palm out another limit contract.

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

If a Clippers have designs on pairing Butler with Leonard, removing out of Gallinari’s agreement would expected be a necessity. Flipping Gallinari for Butler would be a poignant win for them.

If Gallinari’s agreement is a non-starter for a T-Wolves, a Clippers have a series of players on failing deals, including Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley, Marcin Gortat, Boban Marjanovic, Milos Teodosic and Wesley Johnson. Much like a Lakers, a Clippers can't trade Avery Bradley, Montrezl Harrell, Mike Scott and Luc Mbah a Moute until Dec. 15.

The Clippers already have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, and a nonguaranteed $5 million due to Beverley. They also recently matched a New Orleans Pelicans’ offer piece to Tyrone Wallace, that guarantees usually $300,000 of his two-year, $2.9 million contract. If a Clippers intend to make room for Beverley and Wallace, they need to open dual register spots.

The Clippers competence have a trade partner for Beverley in a Phoenix Suns. Per a source within a Suns organization, a organisation is looking to acquire a maestro indicate guard, and Beverley is one of many targets.

If a T-Wolves demeanour to send Butler to one of his requested teams in a Eastern Conference, a Knicks can demeanour to build a trade package around several players, including Joakim Noah, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and/or Enes Kanter. Lee, who’s earning $12.3 million this season, is a usually one of that organisation who would need to be finished with another actor from a Knicks to compare salaries.

The Nets can offer Allen Crabbe true adult for Butler, nonetheless they could build packages around DeMarre Carroll, Kenneth Faried and/or Jared Dudley as well.

Jim Mone/Associated Press

The T-Wolves would positively like immature prospects and/or breeze picks in a Butler deal. The plea is seeking teams to give adult profitable pieces when they’ll have top space subsequent summer. New York could strech over $40 million, while Brooklyn can get all a approach to a towering $80 million in spending power.

Considering Butler can travel as a giveaway agent, it’s a unsure tender for any organisation to give adult too most to acquire him. A understanding competence make some-more clarity for a Portland Trail Blazers, who will have a poignant payroll next season. Would a T-Wolves take on a multiyear agreement like Evan Turner, Moe Harkless or Meyers Leonard for Butler?

Technically, Butler can opt into a final year on his agreement to inspire a organisation to trade for him. To do so, he would expected need assurances (nonbinding and not technically legal) that whichever organisation acquires him will use $12.9 million in top space to restructure his agreement subsequent summer.

Regardless, a T-Wolves aren’t thankful to respect Butler’s reported trade request. If they wait until trade restrictions lift in December, they’ll have some-more trade options, including a Lakers.

While Minnesota finished a 13-year playoff drought final season, a cost it paid to acquire Butler usually to remove in 5 games to a Houston Rockets doesn’t demeanour like a winner. The T-Wolves’ usually wish is to deliver a conditions with a winning Butler trade.


Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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