Right now, there’s no reason for any of the places Butler reportedly wants to go to give up picks or young players as part of a package for him. (Sources indicated over the weekend that the Knicks, supposedly one of those teams, haven’t made any inquiries about the 29 year old.) The Nets and Clippers, the two other teams reportedly on his short list, will have room for at least one — and, most likely, two — max free agents in the Summer of 2019. Each can just wait for Butler to opt out of his final year and become an unrestricted free agent, at which they can offer him a four-year max deal.
Los Angeles has always been Butler’s top choice if he was to leave or be traded by Minnesota, according to league sources. But the Clippers should ask the same question as the New York teams: What’s the rush? They could also just wait for next summer without compromising their future. It would seem like a philosophical about-face, after trading another oft-injured star in Blake Griffin, to trade young pieces for Butler. Only a bargain makes sense.
After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN. Butler's ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.
Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers -- as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.
The Brooklyn Nets' ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.
After weeks of seriously contemplating his future in Minnesota, Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves and informed Thibodeau of his decision on Tuesday in a meeting in Los Angeles, league sources told The Athletic. Players within the locker room first began to hear whispers of Butler’s plans last week, according to sources. Butler has given the Timberwolves a list of teams that could interest him. The Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers are expected as desired destination, and could extend to the Miami Heat and others, sources said. He’s long held a level of desire to potentially play in Los Angeles, a scenario those around him discussed internally as a Bulls free agent in 2015.
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 Timberwolves spent the entire offseason turning down any discussion or inquiry on Butler — and now would be wise to target controllable contracts and assets in any trade. “The price on [Butler] is difficult to pay now, when you can wait and sign him in July,” one team executive told The Athletic, regarding Butler hoping to be traded to a specific destination.
The Clippers, Knicks and Nets have differing levels of interest in Butler as a free agent, each prioritizing him in different ways, league sources said. ... Butler, 30, wants the five-year, $190 million maximum extension that could come with a trade to a new team, but there is some reluctance to teams to commit $40 million-plus annually as Butler reaches his mid-30's, league sources told ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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.
July 23, 2021 | 5:54 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Today’s @Spotify Greenroom discussion about Kawhi Leonard was based on what I reported last Friday via Substack: https://marcstein.substack.com/p/bucks-cp3-got-what-they-wanted There are teams that no longer make the blanket assumption that Kawhi will stay with the Clippers and plan to pursue him if they get the chance.
After multiple reports suggested Lillard could ask out of Portland, he clarified last week that such rumblings were inaccurate. Simmons, currently the only All-Star known to be shopped by his team, is also unlikely to land with the Warriors. The 76ers are asking for a massive haul that includes an All-Star-level player. Per a league source, Golden State wouldn’t be willing to give up what it would take to get Simmons.
They might be better off zeroing in on a smaller move. A league source recently told The Chronicle that the Warriors are interested in packaging the Nos. 7 and 14 selections for a starting-caliber player, not necessarily an All-Star.
JD Shaw: Point guard Jeremiah Martin has committed to Vegas summer league with the Knicks, source tells @HoopsRumors.
Davion Mintz has become the first Kentucky men’s basketball player to reach an agreement with a shoe company during the name, image and likeness era of college athletics. While we’ve seen other players partner with smaller brands and companies – Dontaie Allen signed an apparel deal with The Players Trunk, while Kellan Grady partnered with iSlide for exclusive UK sandals, among others – Mintz announced a partnership with Reebok on Friday to become the first to UK player with a major shoe company agreement.
The partnership is expected to be an off-court deal, as NIL rules state players are not allowed to sign competing on-court apparel deals with rival companies. With Kentucky being a Nike school, Mintz’s partnership must be limited to time away from basketball.
July 23, 2021 | 5:30 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets forward JaMychal Green has declined his $7.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.