Why the Knicks Need to Trade for Jimmy Butler ASAP
Jimmy Butler, the four-time NBA All-Star, has just requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. This trade request occurred after only 1 season in Minnesota. For whatever reason, Butler didn’t appreciate the locker room presence and believed they didn’t work hard enough. Either that or sleeping with Karl Anthony Town’s put a hamper on team chemistry. Within his request, he listed the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets that he would sign extensions with if traded there. Rumors before this news had it that Butler would sign with the Knicks after this upcoming season when he enters free agency. The Knicks may not want to trade for him assuming he’ll just sign with them. The Knicks aren’t a good enough franchise to not trade for him based on hope. They need to make a deal to acquire Jimmy Butler as soon as possible.
Clippers and Nets Interfere
Aside from the Knicks, Butler said that he would sign an extension with the Clippers and Nets. If either of those teams trade for him, the Knicks are back to square one. It’s clear that he solely wants to be in a big city, a la New York and Los Angeles. The Clippers and Nets would more than likely suck once acquiring Butler as they’d have to gut their roster. Neither of those teams has a star currently that would look appetizing to team up with for Butler. However, the Knicks have Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis could be the best big man in the league if he keeps progressing. He’s 7’3 with a really nice stroke from outside. If Jimmy Butler wants to win he should choose Porzingis, but I don’t think that’s high on his priorities. The Knicks need to act now before they never have a chance at him.
Paul George Situation
This is truly the biggest factor here. Paul George is a prime example of what not to do for a franchise. Magic Johnson and the Lakers seemed to be 100% certain that PG13 was going to sign with them in free agency. However, after a year in OKC Paul George discovered that he enjoyed that organization and resigned there for 4 more seasons. It’s a classic case of “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Jimmy Butler signing with the Knicks is anything but guaranteed. The smartest thing to do is for the Knicks to sign him while he’s already interested in them. Once he’s on the team, this upcoming season will be a test run for how much he truly likes it.
Potential Trade Packages
The only player the Knicks can’t trade is Kristaps Porzingis. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina should be in the center of the deal. Hardaway Jr. has a contract that’ll match with Butler’s and Ntilikina is a young point guard with great upside. Also, an unprotected first round pick should be in the package. The reason for including the pick is that trading for Butler means the team does not plan to underperform anymore. The pick shouldn’t be very valuable and necessary for the team to keep. The TWolves are going to want the Knicks first round pick Kevin Knox in a deal. If they have to, the Knicks should include Knox. New York needs to work their asses off to keep him out of any deal. Emmanuel Mudiay is another interesting player they could trade. Mudiay is only 22 years old and looks to have a good feel for the point guard position. Another point guard, Trey Burke, would be a sneaky great pickup. Burke can mess around and drop 30 points if he wants to. This team has so many options for who they could trade to get Jimmy Butler
The New York Knicks need to act now if they want Jimmy Butler. Butler will not be handed to them on a silver platter when next offseason’s free agency begins. He wants a big city with bright lights and the Clippers and Nets can offer that to him. Kristaps Porzingis and Jimmy Butler would make for a lethal 1-2 punch that could spark their way into making some playoff noise. Personally, I want to see Butler become a Knickerbocker from a basketball perspective. The Eastern Conference could use another team that matters. To make this all work, the Knicks must make the move for Jimmy Butler ASAP.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)