How Should the Knicks Approach Jimmy Butler

In short, they should do absolutely nothing. The Knicks are in a good position right now, they’ve got at least two solid building blocks with Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox, still have all first-round picks until 2025, and with the negotiations between Noah and the front office drawing closer to a waive and stretch deal the Knicks will save the at least 12.9 million this year. And with a loaded 2019 free agent pool (Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, Demarcus Cousins, Al Horford, Kemba Walker) the Knicks are lining themselves up to bring in at least one max player in that offseason with plenty to chose from. It has been a long road for the Knicks and I think if we pull the trigger on trading for the disgruntled Jimmy Butler we could be derailing our championship ambitions for the future. Here’s why…

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Jimmy Butler, no doubt is one of the best two-way players in this league. He is one of the great stories in the NBA right now and is worth every penny to whatever team that is lucky enough to get him. With the Timberwolves recently resigning Karl-Anthony Towns to a 5 year 190-million-dollar max deal, it’s clear the owner wants to go with KAT rather than Jimmy Butler as he has told team president/head coach Tom Thibodeau to get the deal done quickly and after a failed attempt to change Butler’s mind in a follow up meeting it seems a trade is inevitable. Jimmy has listed three teams he would be willing to resign to if traded, the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers, but those aren’t the only teams involved in trade talks. The Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Toronto Raptors all have begun calling the Timberwolves in an attempt to trade for the two-way star. It’s safe to say that Butler has a big pool of teams to pick from, and he has experessed his desire to go to Miami as the Heat have quickly become the most aggresive team in pursuit for him . But the reality is that the front office has the true final say in where Butler goes, but with the history between Butler and Thibs dating all the way back to 2011, you have to think he would be willing to send Butler to a team he wants to play for.

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The Knicks have been quiet in regard to these trade rumors and for good reason. Only a few days before Butler requested a trade Steve Mills affirmed the Knicks don’t plan to trade for a player they could potentially get in free agency next summer. David Fizdale has also said, “We don’t want to jump at the shiny things. We want to make solid decisions.” Showing the front offices unity and commitment to stick to the plan and continue to develop in house while saving money for the 2019 free agency. It’s clear the front office wants to throw the young players into the fire by making them guard the toughest players in order to show them how intense the NBA is every single night. And with Kristaps not ruling out sitting the entire 2018-19 season the plan is not to jeopardize the long-term health of the face of this franchise. The Knicks will have plenty of opportunity to add another star to the roster if not this season then the next because as the culture and players develop within New York, it then will become a more enticing free agent destination for years down the road.

 

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