The NBA offseason never disappoints, even when it’s days away from ending.
News that Jimmy Butler has requested a trade, reportedly not for the first time, and would be excused from media day and other team activities indefinitely was quite a shock.
One of the teams reported to have expressed interest in the suddenly very available Butler - the Detroit Pistons, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Butler is, to put it mildly, not the easiest person to play alongside. He’s an asshole and extremely demanding of his teammates. Some would say, he’s got some of that original Bad Boy DNA, in fact.
The guard wants a huge $150 million-plus contract following this year and it looks like that isn’t happening in Minnesota. If it’s not happening he wants out. He’s already not too keen on playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and the Wolves, understandably, see more of a future around KAT than they do Butler.
Butler originally reported that he was interested in the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. Now, according to Woj, franchises including Detroit, Brooklyn, Houston, the Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia and Portland have expressed interest in seeing if a deal is possible.
Is a deal with Detroit possible? Probably not. We’ll have a separate post concocting some fake trades, but on the whole it would require Detroit to give up a lot for either a rental or to guarantee a 29-year-old Butler a long-term $150 million deal. Detroit already has that in Blake Griffin.
Wojnarwoski reports that while teams have expressed interest in Butler, or at least understanding what the parameters of a deal would need to be, few if any teams are actually engaged in serious trade discussions.
This fast-developing situation will likely resolves itself soon, however, as Wolves owner Glen Taylor, who has essentially superseded the authority of president of basketball ops and head coach Tom Thibodeau, has committed to trading Butler before the first day of practice on Tuesday.
Detroit’s media day is Monday. If any big names are held out of media day under mysterious circumstances (Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson) then maybe this will be more than a glancing curiosity.