By: Ben Meyerson
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Jimmy Butler is available, well kinda, reports came out October 31st that he is going to sit out games and he could potentially sit out for 6-weeks per The Athletics Shams Charania:
Jimmy Butler sat out again on November 4th against the Portland Trailblazers:
Jimmy Butler is probably going to get traded very soon and it looks Tom Thibodeau will no option but to trade him. There are going to be three tier’s in this article; 1st the players that make the most sense and there are no major challenges to this move happening besides another team swooping in and offering more; 2nd the players that could get traded but either the team trading doesn’t make sense, contracts don’t quite make sense, fit doesn’t make sense or other reasons; 3rd these deals aren’t impossible but they are far from happening for multiple reasons. The list of players are ordered by the most unlikely to be traded to the most likely to be traded.
This works for both sides as far as player fit for a few reasons, Brogdon is a good young player who loves to play defense and is a good shooter who could fill some of the void for Jimmy. But he is not the same level of player (clearly), the contracts don’t work and if Tom Thibodeau thinks he’s fired after this season he just wouldn’t pull the trigger.
The only reason this might happen is because the Wizards are a mess and the contracts kinda work but there might have to be more for one of the teams to give up or to get a third team involved. The Wizards needs a chemistry change and while Jimmy doesn’t seem like the best for any team as far as keeping good chemistry might just be a home run swing until they blow it up.
The only reason Redick isn’t in tier 3 is because Jimmy would fit well with Philadelphia and Redick is a veteran player who Tom Thibodeau will respect and be comfortable with putting him out there. Also this contract works well for the trade and if the Wolves want more like Saric or Covington and they could also ask for a later round draft pick. Redick is a vet and it makes a ton of sense as far as fit but he will only be there for the rest of the year and it would be odd for the Wolves.
Dion Waiters is the Josh Richardson trade for all the team reasons, but he just wouldn’t fit as well with Minnesota and would probably be not so great for the locker room. He would shoot irrational shots and try to heat check himself every night with 12 shots, but maybe he gets hot and the team gets behind him. He’s the higher risk but possibly the higher reward then Josh Richardson, but probably not and it could be a train-wreck but the heat want Jimmy and maybe they give up a bigger piece along with Waiters to make it happen.
Bradley is interesting because he is a good plus defender who seems like he would be a great complimentary piece for any team and he can fit in well, plus the Clippers are one of the teams Jimmy said he would be interested in. The reasons this doesn’t work is because it feels like it wouldn’t be enough, Bradley has reached his ceiling and doesn’t seem like he can be a difference maker and if the Clippers feel they can get him in the offseason then why would they make the trade. Also, Bradley just isn’t a sexy piece to trade for he’s kinda just meh and part of the reason the Wolves would trade Jimmy is because they would be getting a sexy trade that got them cache and that just won’t happen with Bradley.
Marcus Smart- Boston Celtics
The reason this works is because of fit, Smart is a hard working defender and is irrational at best on the offensive end but he just seems like the perfect Tom Thibodeau guy and would be interesting. While he is like Jimmy in that he’ll probably yell at KAT and Wiggins and tell them they’re trash and that the Wolves “can’t win without him”. So that would be interesting but Thibodeau would love Smart. The reasons this doesn’t happen is because the Celtics aren’t really interested in Butler and already have that position so that’s why it might not happen. But if the Celtics gets antsy and are the 4th or 5th seed at the all-star break who knows.
Eric Gordon- Houston Rockets
The only reason Eric Gordon isn’t the highest on this list is because he is a great spark-plug guy who is better as a 6th man, Minnesota is looking for a guy they can start right away and not replace Jimmy but at least add something to this team. Eric Gordon can be a great offensive player who will be beside KAT and Wiggins and possibly open up their offense. Gordon who has hovered around 35-38% from 3 the last couple years and can just unload a great offensive performance. The problem is he doesn’t really play defense that well and is on the older side of his playing career, the worry is he isn’t the best long term solution and is at his peak. Unless they offer more picks and assets than Miami, Richardson is just better younger and still improving.
Josh Richardson- Miami Heat
Contract: 4-years/$42 million
This is the most guy to be moved for a few reasons, Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to get just picks back for Jimmy Butler since he probably won’t be there next year. Josh Richardson is the youngest guy in this tier he has one of the most favorable contracts at $10.25 million per year shoots 38% from 3, 45% from the field and is not just a plus defender but becoming a potentially NBA All-Defensive Team. If you are losing Jimmy you want his skill set but a more coachable version of him, while Josh Richardson is not at Jimmy’s level he can do a lot of the same stuff Jimmy can do. Josh Richardson is a hard worker, good enough to above average shooter, very very good defender but he is very coachable. He was a second round pick he has overcome that and become a solid player who you can plug into any team and use.