According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler is “most determined” to join the LA Clippers over the other teams on his list.
Earlier today, Shams Charania reported that Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler had requested a trade from the franchise, and that he had given executive Tom Thibodeau a list of “one-to-three teams” that he would prefer to be traded to. Those teams would each have the cap space to give Butler a maximum contract extension come next summer.
Not long after, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had the three teams on the list: the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers. He seconded Charania’s earlier claim that those teams would be able to re-sign Butler as a free agent in July.
Now, Wojnarowski has provided us with another crucial piece of information. Per his latest tweet, Butler is “most determined” to find a way to the Los Angeles Clippers, given the team is the only one of his preferred options that can sign another max-level star with their remaining cap room.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Clippers are guaranteed to land Butler — according to numerous reports, Thibodeau has remained reluctant to actually trade the two-way star.
However, the Clippers do have the best assets to offer the Timberwolves, and assuming Thibodeau is in win-now mode (which he likely is), a package from the Clippers would be the most favorable. The Clippers can offer any number of combinations to make the salaries work out, with deals revolving around players like Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris, or several others.
With the remaining money that LA would have after extending Butler, there would be enough left over to sign another player to a max deal — and there is no shortage of top-tier talent available next summer.
For starters, Irving and Butler are reportedly interested in playing together. Beyond that, we know everything we need to know about the Clippers and their interest in Leonard. But Cousins makes for an interesting case — LA doesn’t have a solid center in their books right now, and would it be wrong to believe that if Golden State doesn’t work out for Cousins, that he might take more money to join Butler in Los Angeles?
It’ll be very interesting to see how this all plays out.