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3 teams Jimmy Butler wants to be traded to, and 3 he may actually end up with

Butler has his ideal landing spots, but the Wolves can move him anywhere.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. The star met with head coach Tom Thibodeau in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and reportedly gave a list of desired destinations that, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, includes the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

Butler’s contract ends at the end of this season, meaning teams will be hesitant to move pieces for him unless they receive a guarantee that he’s more than just a rental. It’s in Minnesota’s best interest to field pitches from L.A., New York and Brooklyn, since they’re likely to put in top offers, but it’s far to early to rule out a fourth team swooping into play.

Here’s how a Jimmy Butler trade might work with teams on his list, or with teams who might be lurking on the outside.

What the Clippers can offer in a Jimmy Butler trade

A big contract to match Butler’s salary:

  • Tobias Harris

Role pieces:

  • Wesley Johnson
  • Milos Teodosic
  • Patrick Beverley


  • 2022 first-round pick
  • Shai-Gilgeous Alexander

What Butler’s season outlook would be:

In L.A., Butler can enjoy good weather, play with... Danilo Gallinari, and probably miss the playoffs in a competitive western conference.

What the Nets can offer in a Jimmy Butler trade

A big contract to match Butler’s salary:

  • DeMarre Carroll
  • Allen Crabbe


  • Nuggets top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick
  • Own 2019 first-round pick
  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
  • Jarrett Allen

What Butler’s season outlook would be:

In Brooklyn, Butler is unlikely to make the playoffs right now. But he could help develop D’Angelo Russell, and the team has cap flexibility for the following summer.

What the Knicks can offer in a Jimmy Butler trade

A big contract to match Butler’s salary:

  • Enes Kanter
  • Joakim Noah

Role pieces:

  • Courtney Lee
  • Lance Thomas


  • Frank Ntilikina
  • 2019 first-round pick

*Knicks president Steve Mills said on Monday that the team won’t trade assets for players they feel they can sign in free agency, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

What Butler’s season outlook would be:

The Knicks aren’t likely to get Kristaps Porzingis back until Christmas time or later, if at all. Butler can put up All-Star numbers and miss the playoffs, but build for the future with KP, Ntilikina, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson.

But ... do these teams make sense for the Timberwolves?

No. None of the teams on Butler’s list make immediate sense for the Wolves, who are closing in on a time to compete with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Remember, this is just Butler’s suggested list, and recently we’ve seen both Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard’s trade wishes be ignored.

Here’s who else could swoop in on a Butler deal.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have stockpiled an incredible amount of assets to go along with maybe the best prospect available for trade in Jaylen Brown. Any trade centered around the 21-year-old could make the best offer on the table.

Boston could, in theory, start Irving, Butler, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

Philadelphia 76ers

Matched with a similar list of assets, Philly could easily come into play with a trade involving Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz or Zhaire Smith.

A Ben Simmons, Butler, Robert Covington, Joel Embiid lineup could win the east.

Los Angeles Lakers

With LeBron James, you can never count anything out. Should he want Butler in town, you bet management will do everything in its power to get him. Parting with Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram is unlikely, but Kyle Kuzma or Josh Hart could be in play.

According to Wojnarowski, LeBron’s place as the Lakers cornerstone made it a less appealing destination for him. But a trade isn’t entirely up to him.

Jimmy Butler’s future is just as uncertain now as it was days ago, but one thing is certain: He wants out of Minnesota. Things will get messy if he isn’t dealt by Monday, which is the team’s first media day of the season. But the Timberwolves aren’t obligated to move him at any particular time.

The clock is ticking, though.