Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Jimmy Butler asks Wolves to trade him

Jimmy Butler asks Wolves to trade him

Not long after, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski had the three teams on the list: the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers. And if it's out there Butler would only sign with one to three teams, those other twenty-something teams aren't going to be inclined to give up much in order to acquire a player with no inclination to re-sign.

For starters, Irving and Butler are reportedly interested in playing together. He could also agree to sign a lucrative extension before then if he's traded to a new team. He's one of the best two-way players in the entire league, capable of hounding elite playmakers with dogged defense and pouring in baskets all in the same game.

This certainly makes Butler's interest in the Clippers particularly interesting.

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After re-signing point guard Chris Paul to a four-year, $160-million contract, and reaching agreement on a five-year, $90-million contract with center Clint Capela, Houston is in no position to max Butler in 2019 free agency. But the Clippers should ask the same question as the NY teams: What's the rush? It would seem like a philosophical about-face, after trading another oft-injured star in Blake Griffin, to trade young pieces for Butler.

The idea of creating a team to rival LeBron James in Los Angeles might be particularly appealing to both Butler and Leonard. While there is risk involved in placing a big bet on someone who has played as many minutes as Butler has, this is a genuine superstar who could help the team turn the page from culture-building to real competitiveness. L.A. could also offer 2018 lottery picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Alexander. But an injury to Butler and some in-fighting limited the Wolves and the fell to an eighth seed in the Western Conference.

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