Potential Trade Proposals from All 29 NBA Teams for Jimmy Butler

The Minnesota Timberwolves launch their season today with the first media day of the year before starting up with training camp. All eyes will be on them, less than a week after Jimmy Butler demanded a trade away from the team he helped make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

There are plenty of suitors for Jimmy Butler and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is looking to trade him as soon as possible. But what can the other 29 NBA teams offer for Jimmy Butler and what should the Timberwolves accept? Here are trade proposals each team in the NBA can give for Jimmy Butler, that the Timberwolves would at least consider.

The Teams Jimmy Butler Desires:

Brooklyn Nets

Outgoing: D’Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jared Dudley

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

When I first saw Brooklyn Nets as one of Jimmy Butler’s preferred destinations, I scoffed and thought that the Nets have absolutely nothing of interest.

After looking through their roster and thinking about it however, I retract that statement. D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Spencer Dinwiddie all have upside and youth on their side and guys like Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur and Jared Dudley are expiring veterans.

Seeing as D’Angelo Russell is very good friend with Karl-Anthony Towns, who is now the unquestioned #1 guy for the Timberwolves, makes me lean more in his direction. Russell has struggled so far in the NBA after flashing star potential in college. He might just have had the same bad luck as Victor Oladipo and not landed in the right spot yet. Here’s hoping. Thibs will like Hollis-Jefferson’s defence, while Jared Dudley should be a more calming presence in the Timberwolves locker room than the guy leaving.

Los Angeles Clippers

Outgoing: Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, BOBAN, Jerome Robinson

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson

Butler’s most desired destination, the LA Clippers, can offer a deal that is most likely to tempt Tom Thibodeau as well. The Clippers have a bunch of players Thibs’ Timberwolves can “win now” with. Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari doesn’t fill me with much excitement at all, but it’s more tempting for Thibodeau than any young player ever would be.

Tobias Harris is a good player, but he is who he is, Lou Williams was almost an all-star last season, but is on the wrong side of 30. BOBAN is a fun character, but that’s pretty much all he is. He also is an expiring. Jerome Robinson came outta nowhere as the 13th pick in the draft, but didn’t look like a new Donovan Mitchell in Summer League. There is still upside there though.

New York Knicks

Outgoing: Frank Ntilikina, Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter, Lottery Protected 2019 1st Round Pick

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson

“We’re going to build this team the right way and what we’re not going to do is trade away assets to get a guy that we can get on our own later.”

If Perry goes back on his word, this is how I see a trade play out. Frank Ntilikina is the main piece going out, who has the youth and talent the Timberwolves fans like and the defensive tenacity Thibodeau likes. Courtney Lee is a solid player, while Kanter is salary filler who can probably be shipped to a third team. The draft pick will be heavily protected, as Porzingis is out with an ACL injury and the Knicks would be a Butler injury away from disaster. Giving up a non-lottery pick wouldn’t be too bad and Butler is more than worth Ntilikina.

If Perry is to be believed however and the Knicks have learned from the way they acquired Carmelo Anthony, it don’t see a trade happening between these teams. The Knicks need to squeeze out a bit more cap space to be able to sign two MAX players next summer, while the Timberwolves won’t want to add salary and go over the luxury tax. Speaking of big market teams who are unlikely to trade for Jimmy Butler:

The Potential Super Teams:

Boston Celtics (January 15th)

Outgoing: Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

The Celtics just don’t have the contracts to make a Butler trade work. I’ve seen some hopeful Timberwolves fans wanting a straight swap with Butler and Gordon Hayward, but keep dreaming. Al Horford is too vital to what Boston do while trading away Kyrie Irving wouldn’t make any sense, as that is the guy Butler wants to team up with.

The Celtics would have to wait until the newly signed Marcus Smart becomes tradeable on January 15th, but that is long after Butler has already been traded. If for some reason Butler is still with the Timberwolves on January 15th, Smart/Morris/Rozier is a good win now/youth package the Timberwolves might be interested in.

LA Lakers (December 15th)

Outgoing: Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones

The Lakers, similarly, have no contracts to give up at all. Even if they send out every single prospect they have, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Mo Wagner, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Svi Mykhailiuk, it just barely adds up to Butler’s entire salary. The Lakers would have to wait for 1 year deals to become eligible for a trade, but again, that will be too late for Minnesota, who’s owner wants to trade Butler right now.

With this trade, the Timberwolves get the only attainable player out of the Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma triumvirate and adds a solid vet in Rondo and a.. player in KCP. The Lakers get Tyus Jones back to backup Lonzo Ball, adding to their young core. Just make sure LeBron doesn’t call him Tyler again.

The Super Teams:

Golden State Warriors

Outgoing: Andre Iguodala, Jacob Evans, Jordan Bell

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Screw it… let’s make the Warriors even more super. None of their starting 5 would be moved, but they’d have to say goodbye to the ultimate Warrior Andre Iguodala. Curry, Klay, Butler, Durant, Draymond. That’s how you improve the Warriors starters. Let’s just leave it at that.

Houston Rockets

Outgoing: Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, 2020 1st Round Pick

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

The team that was closest to beating the Warriors last season, is probably the team that is the closest to get a deal done for Butler among the potential and actual super teams. Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker and a late late 1st round pick is a decent offer, but probably not something the Timberwolves should accept.

Gordon has been re-invigorated with the Rockets and I feel like he has become underrated at this point, but you also have to remember how he sulked and was injured all the time with the Pelicans. No wonder he is one of the few decent value signings from the infamous free agency of 2016. PJ Tucker is toughness personified and the Timberwolves were after him when the Suns traded him to the Raptors. Timberwolves would stay competitive, which would be to Thibodeau’s liking, but they still need to add some youth.

Thibs gets to stay competitive, but still adds youth

Milwaukee Bucks

Outgoing: Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Bledsoe, John Henson

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson

One of the more intriguing trade possibilities on here. I know the Milwaukee Bucks fans aren’t super high on trading for Butler, especially if they give up Khris Middleton who has a better chance of re-signing than Butler has. Besides, he might actually be a better fit for both teams than Butler, as he is less ball dominant and clearly a superior shooter.

Butler could get the Bucks to the next level however, as an alpha scorer, creator and superior defender. Teague would also be an upgrade over what we saw from Eric Bledsoe last playoffs. Taj Gibson is a solid vet and would along with Butler make the Bucks defence one of the best in the league. The Timberwolves on the other hand were very high on DiVincenzo at the 2018 Draft and likely would have taken him if he was available.

Denver Nuggets

Outgoing: Gary Harris, Trey Lyles

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

The Denver Nuggets’ playoff hopes were dashed by the Timberwolves last season, in what must have been an agonizing way to lose at the final day of the season. Nuggets fans can probably take solace in the fact that the Timberwolves are crumbling now, even though KAT is still better than Jokic.

Enough cheap shots, I love to hate you Denver Nuggets, but I don’t think there’s much of a chance of a deal between these two. Gary Harris and Trey Lyles is just not enough to get Jimmy Butler. If you added a 1st round pick on top of that, it gets very interesting, but unfortunately the Nuggets have put themselves in protection hell. Their outgoing 1st round pick to Brooklyn Nets is potentially protected all the way until 2024, meaning the Nuggets can’t trade anything earlier than their 2026 first round pick. They can’t play with their future by giving up a pick that far in the future, so this deal seems to be off.

San Antonio Spurs

Outgoing: LaMarcus Aldridge, Lonnie Walker IV, Pau Gasol, Patty Mills

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson

Hey, how about we uproot the entire Spurs roster from a year ago. Might as well do it now that MANU and Parker have left. Butler and DeRozan would be an interesting combination for the Spurs, with Butler being able to replicate about 75% of what Kawhi Leonard gave them.

The Timberwolves get some monster contracts back in LA and Pau Gasol (shout out to the Timberbulls), but the price is Lonnie Walker IV, who many had pegged as a lottery pick before this year’s draft. Patty Mills is also a solid backup PG coming in for the outgoing Jeff Teague, who has never been a fan favorite in Minnesota. Time for Tyus Jones to become the starter!

Portland TrailBlazers

Outgoing: Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Anfernee Simons, Lottery Protected 2019 1st Round Pick

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

The Blazers have been very interested in trading for Butler according to reports, but they have no interest in giving up CJ McCollum to get him. Out of the rest of the roster, only Zach Collins and Anfernee Simons stick out as interesting prospects and seeing as the Timberwolves don’t need bigs and Simons is easier to get, he is the one included in this trade.

Aminu and Harkless are solid defensively and especially the chief Aminu can be a solid starter in the NBA and could take Butler’s starting spot. It still seems a little light for the Blazers however, so a 1st Round pick would have to be added to make it interesting for the Wolves. Let’s make it lottery protected on the chance that Butler only becomes a rental.

Indiana Pacers

Outgoing: Damontas Sabonis, Aaron Holiday, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones

The Pacers can empathize with what the Timberwolves are going through, facing the same dilemma a year ago with Paul George. The trade the Pacers made was ridiculed when it was made, but Victor Oladipo’s ascendance into an All-NBA talent made the trade more than worth it.

The Paul George trade should be a blueprint for the Timberwolves on how to move on from a want-away star, but I’m not sure the Indiana Pacers are best trading partner for that to happen. Myles Turner is probably just unattainable enough to be included and while Holiday and Sabonis are nice prospects, they don’t have the upside Oladipo had. Bogdanovic and Joseph are also solid expirings, but don’t really move the needle.

New Orleans Pelicans

Outgoing: Julius Randle, E’Twuan Moore, Darius Miller, 2020 1st Round Pick

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Fellow Kentucky Alum and KAT friend Julius Randle would be a fun addition for the Wolves. Randle has shown glimpses of greatness even if his fit next to Towns might not be the best. E’Twuan Moore is an overlooked and very solid swingman in the NBA, as a tenacious defender and solid shooter. Thibodeau knows him from his time in Chicago, making him an obvious target. Darius Miller is a sniper, even if he provides little else.

For the Pelicans, the trade is obvious. Pair up Anthony Davis (and Jrue Holiday) with Jimmy Butler and see if that is enough to entice both of them to stay. The Pelicans can’t stand pat, as last year’s playoff run is probably the best they are going to get with this current crew. Butler would be a more seamless fit than DeMarcus Cousins was, being able to dominate in the pick and roll and especially on defence next to Anthony Davis. A better fit on and off the court than Butler and Towns ever was.

Timberwolves get an exciting talent back

Memphis Grizzlies

Outgoing: Jaren Jackson Jr, Garrett Temple, Chandler Parsons

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Justin Patton, Josh Okogie

Okay, okay. Pump the brakes and hold your horses Memphis Grizzlies fans.. I’m also a huge fan of JJJ and I’d make him untouchable as well. This is just the only feasible trade with Memphis and also… let me daydream about JJJ and Towns as a frontcourt duo.

To make it worth your while, we’ll take the monstrous albatross contract of Chandler Parsons for the cost of the always solid grit and grindy Taj Gibson and we’ll also give you our two latest first round picks, Patton and Okogie. Sound good? Still no? I thought so.

It was worth a shot.

Charlotte Hornets

Outgoing: Malik Monk, Nicolas Batum, Frank Kaminskiy

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson

I love Malik Monk too, but he seems a little more attainable than Jaren Jackson Jr. does. You’ll have to either give up something good or take on a bad contract (Dieng) if you want to get Butler and the Hornets are all maxed out when it comes to bad contracts. They even send one out here, with Batum finally arriving at the team he signed a deal with as a restricted free agent in 2012. Frank the Tank also comes along to replace Taj Gibson.

I’m still very high on Monk, as I was when I had him as a boom candidate before the 2017 draft. He could give the Timberwolves some of what they lost with LaVine, but hopefully with better defence at a lower price. Batum and Kaminskiy is hardly comparable to the value Dunn and #7 pick Markkanen was, but the Timberwolves won’t make back the same value they gave up for Butler.

Dallas Mavericks

Outgoing: Dennis Smith Jr, Wes Matthews

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones

The Dallas Mavericks are still trying to reach the playoffs, giving the legend Dirk Nowitzky a final playoff run before he calls it quits. They managed to get ahold of DeAndre Jordan probably 3 years too late for Dirk’s taste, but at least it shows that the Mavericks still want to win now. I would’ve rather tried to get Clint Capela and hurt the Rockets in the process, but that’s neither here nor there.

To get a top 15 guy like Butler however, the price would be quite high. Almost as high as Dennis Smith Jr jumps. DSJ quickly became a favorite in Dallas, but there’s a new hot young PG in town, European wonderkid Luka Dončić, making Smith Jr. slightly more expendable. Instead, Dallas get a very solid backup in Tyus Jones, who could also play alongside Luka. Dallas/Carlisle loves their small PG lineups. Wes Matthews’ expiring contract is a solid vet for Thibs to play for too many minutes.

I actually quite like this deal, but I wonder if Dallas and their fans would be willing to give up Dennis Smith Jr. Just look at him..

Phoenix Suns

Outgoing: Josh Jackson, Tyson Chandler, Troy Daniels

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones

Similar to the Mavricks deal, although I’m not quite as high on Josh Jackson as I am Dennis Smith Jr. He’s more of a natural Jimmy Butler replacement however, so the trade is still very interesting from a Minnesota perspective. He obviously has loads of talent, even if he never gets a reliable jump shot.

The Phoenix Suns might not be quite as desperate for a playoff appearance as Dallas however, and giving up Josh Jackson would suck. The Suns have had a reported interested in Tyus Jones however, so getting him on top of Butler would seem like a win. They desperately need some point guard help. Another X-factor is how well Devin Booker would go along with Jimmy Butler. He is a very good friend of KAT’s after all.

Washington Wizards

Outgoing: Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jason Smith

Incoming: Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson

Possibly my favorite deal, as a big fan of Kelly Oubre’s upside (and eyes) and an Otto supPorter since he was a draft prospect. The Wizards on the other hand try going for it, adding yet another ball-dominant malcontent with a whole lot of talent.

They don’t have much of a choice Washington, after crashing out in the first round after barely making the playoffs in the east as a 8th seed. With Butler and Taj on board the Wizards might finally have a deep enough roster to make some real noise in the playoffs. With LeBron gone, the East is there for the taking and by adding a top 15 player, the Wizards could have a chance to reach the finals.

Sacramento Kings

Outgoing: De’Aaron Fox, Iman Shumpert, Ben McLemore

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler doesn’t care much for Minnesota, but De’Aaron Fox’ favorite player of all time, is Kevin Garnett, the greatest Timberwolf of all time.

That won’t nudge the Kings to make this trade, as Fox has become their poster boy after some clutch moment in his rookie year. There are still questions about Fox’ game that made me label him a potential bust before his draft, but young Swipa has enough work ethic and character to make it work. He’d fit perfectly in Minnesota Timberwolves’ timeline, but sadly he fits well in Kings’ timeline as well. At least better than Butler.

But you never know. The Kings owners are desperate to make the playoffs. Probably even more so now that the Timberwolves broke their playoff drought, making the Kings the team in the NBA who have gone the longest without a playoff berth.

Miami Heat

Outgoing: Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng

Miami Heat are one of the teams mentioned with a vested interest in trading for Butler. Unlike Butler’s more desired destinations, Miami can’t sign Butler outright as a free agent next summer. I think the Heat are one of the more likely teams to get a deal done with the Timberwolves partly because they have some interesting assets.

Josh Richardson will be going into his 4th NBA season and might be set for a breakout. He brings a lot of the same qualities Jimmy Butler does, as a hard-nosed defender and tough competitor. He also brings better shooting, something sorely needed with this young Timberwolves squad. He’s about the same age as KAT and Wiggins and can grow together with them as a fine young core.

The Timberwolves would likely ask for Justise Winslow as well, but the Heat would want to keep at least one. Instead, the Heat can give the Timberwolves a swap of Dieng to Olynyk, a better fit with Minnesota’s roster. They also add the wonderful Dion Waiters. W poses for everyone.

Orlando Magic

Outgoing: Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier, Timofey Mozgov, DJ Augustin

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Josh Okogie, Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng

I don’t know why the Magic would want to trade for Jimmy Butler, but then again, why did they trade for Serge Ibaka after signing Biyombo and Vucevic to huge deals while having a great big man prospect in Aaron Gordon.

Gordon is too steep of a price to pay for Butler, probably. The same goes my man MO BAMBA. Jonathan Isaac miiiiight be had? The Timberwolves would likely have to add a young talent in case Butler leaves Orlando in a year. Josh Okogie has a bright future. The Magic also get someone who can play point guard in Jeff Teague. He is one of Butler’s guys after all.

Philadelphia 76ers

Outgoing: Markelle Fultz, Sir Bob Covington

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Just like the 76ers fans, I haven’t given up on Markelle Fultz, but his value around the league might be damaged just enough that he is available in return for Jimmy Butler. Like KAT and Wiggins, Fultz is a former #1 pick and the talent hidden somewhere in there is good enough to make a contender eventually out of the Timberwolves.

The 76ers are ready to be a contender right now. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are good enough already to reach the finals and adding Jimmy Butler might very well be what vaults them to that spot. Covington has become a cult hero with the 76ers, but he’s slightly overpaid and looked a bit lost in the playoffs. He’d be a decent addition to the Timberwolves, but the real price here would be Fultz.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Outgoing: Collin Sexton, JR Smith, Sam Dekker

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Like the 76ers, The Cavaliers are also a team that have been rumored to be in Butler talks. They look to pair him up with the last star to want out of Minnesota in Kevin Love, which can give them enough firepower to compete in the playoffs. With an aging roster built around LeBron, there is not much here to entice Minnesota however, except for the guy they drafted with the much discussed Brooklyn Nets pick, Collin Sexton.

I wasn’t sold on him pre-draft, but his play in Summer League somewhat quelled the fears I had about him. Then again, that same thing happened with Kris Dunn and he has an awkward rookie season. As long as there is dysfunction with the Timberwolves, why not add JR Smith into the mix?

Dumping Dieng

Toronto Raptors

Outgoing: Pascal Siakam, Danny Green, Serge Ibaka, Norm! Powell, Lottery Protected 2021 1st Round Pick

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng

BuzzedWoody over at r/NBA made the case for this trade better than I can do it myself. I replace Delon Wright with Danny Green to make the salaries work and to appease Thibs however. The Timberwolves already have too many PGs anyway.

Atlanta Hawks

Outgoing: Taurean Prince, Kent Bazemore, Jeremy Lin

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng

It makes no sense for the rebuilding Hawks to go in for Butler, but we gotta make trades for all 29 teams here. As a rebuilding team, the Hawks can afford to be a dumping ground for Gorgui Dieng and whaddya know, maybe Dieng will show some of the skills that earned him that big of a contract in the first place. I remember I was excited we got him for the same as Ian Mahinmi… Time flies when you’re having fun.

Taurean Prince is also a lot of fun, especially to watch. He plays with a reckless abandon and has proven to be quite productive at the NBA level as well.

Detroit Pistons

Outgoing: Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson, Luke Kennard, Jon Leuer

Incoming: Jimmy Butler and Gorgui Dieng

The Pistons really really really wants marquee players to sell tickets, which gave them the “great” idea of trading for Blake Griffin’ monstrosity of a contract. Jimmy Butler would be much better value, but the Pistons don’t really have anything to give back in return. Stanley Johnson is a Thibs kind of guy, but his ceiling is capped by a poor jump-shot. Luke Kennard, picked right before Donovan Mitchell a year ago, is a fine player, but also won’t set the NBA world on fire. Homeboy Jon Leuer would be nice, but Reggie Jackson would not. He was in trade rumors back when Thibs tried to get rid of Rubio, so obviously he likes him.

This trade is made simply to get rid of Dieng’s contract and add some okay pieces. It doesn’t really work out for either team.

OKC Thunder

Outgoing: Terrance Ferguson, Andre Roberson, Dennis Schröder, Alex Abrines

Incoming: Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng

Steven Adams seems to be off the table, so there is not much to work with here. Terrance Ferguson is the most interesting name, but the 2017 #21 pick didn’t do enough in his rookie season to warrant a lot of value. OKC’s gimungous luxury tax bill would be even bigger with Gorgui Dieng, but Schröder basically has the same contract. Butler will make a lot more than the other 3 combined however.

I’m not expecting OKC to be in the race for Butler, but Sam Presti has surprised me once or twice before.

Well, this is awkward…

Chicago Bulls

Outgoing: Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Pennies on the dollar? I’d do Butler for LaVine straight up… There’s no time to wait until January though.

Utah Jazz

Outgoing: Ricky Rubio, Jae Crowder

Incoming: Jimmy Butler

Come back Ricky, we love you.