Jimmy Butler has recently spoken about his interest in joining the LA Clippers this summer, but should the team still want him?
After a tumultuous start to the season in Minnesota, Jimmy Butler was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to the trade, the LA Clippers had been linked to the All-Star, after he stated his desire to play for them. Now, after some possible trouble in Philly, Butler has again brought up the idea of joining LA.
If you missed it, Butler has been causing trouble in Philadelphia. He has disagreed with head coach Brett Brown and has already begun to talk about free agency this coming summer. This has already led the media to discuss trading him prior to the deadline.
Recently, he stated his possible interest in joining Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles on the Clippers. While this may have been exciting earlier in the season, should the Clips still be interested in Butler?
Short answer: They shouldn’t.
Butler, while a talented player, just does not seem to be worth the money he will command. to go with that, the Clippers will already be navigating the salary cap very carefully. Getting the flexibility to land two max-contract free agents will be tricky and getting only Butler back doesn’t seem to be worth it.
In fact, if you compare his numbers to Tobias Harris this season, you’ll see Tobias has been the better offensive player. I will concede the obvious that Butler is a better defender, but in my opinion that doesn’t do enough to justify signing him with no bird rights over Tobias, who the team could re-sign while still adding players to the roster.
The production isn’t the real issue though. It’s the attitude. Butler has butted heads with several coaches in his time in the league. Doc Rivers may be a player’s coach and able to get along with most, but is it really worth risking? LA has built themselves a new culture since the departure of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. Butler would fit in with the “hard nosed” style that they now have, but he could also ruin it if he becomes unhappy.
Ultimately, the Clippers may decide Butler is worth it. Perhaps choosing his team will make him more inclined to be on his best behavior and his defense next to Kawhi could be something to be reckoned with. Still, I would be hesitant to bring him in, even with his expressed interest.