The Los Angeles Clippers have been connected to Jimmy Butler as one of his desired trade destinations. Are we sure that is the right move for LA?
The chances of Jimmy Butler being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, or any team for that matter, in the near future, skyrocketed after Wednesday afternoon.
Three weeks ago, Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler exercised his “pre-agency” rights, in which an NBA player goes to his team to demand a trade in the last year of his contract.
The logic is simple, for both sides. Butler comes to the Timberwolves, tells the team that he is not going to re-sign anyway, and prompts the front office to trade him away to get something out of him, rather than him walking away for free.
In this request, Butler listed the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks as the three teams he would like to be traded to. These are the teams, according to Butler, that he would be willing to re-sign with. All three teams have cap space for a max extension, the Clippers having space for two max slots next summer.
Butler reportedly marched into the Timberwolves’ practice on Wednesday and took the third unit over the starting five in a scrimmage. While this happened, Butler reportedly was telling Minnesota coaches and management off. After the news broke, Butler explained what happened between him and Karl-Anthony Towns.
The chances are that Butler will be traded to the Miami Heat. The two sides nearly came to a deal earlier in the week before it fell apart at the last minute. Miami is interested in continuing the trade talks for Butler and this incident should make Minnesota more proactive in discussions.
The Los Angeles Clippers are not completely out of the picture, though, and could re-enter trade discussions after this news. After swinging and missing in the first wave of negotiations, the Timberwolves could lower the asking price for the Clippers.
The problem still remains on whether or not Butler would be a good addition to this team. Butler certainly does not have a promising past in terms of locker room chemistry, something that could hurt the Clippers as they attempt to bring in two max guys.
Stylistically you can make the case that the Clippers are a great fit for Butler. Los Angeles has tough, hard-nosed guys that will give the kind of effort to win that Butler wants out of his teammates. We shouldn’t expect Butler to have the same feelings as he does about Towns and Wiggins.
However, it is hard to ignore how bad of a teammate Butler has been at times. This is not the first issue that has surrounded Butler and likely will not be the last. Rajon Rondo questioned Butler and Wade’s leadership when they played together in Chicago.
While Rondo is a character in his own right, he knows what it is like to be a good leader and to be successful. According to his quote, running to the media and calling out teammates is not what a leader does.
I am sure there are internal scuffles in every single NBA team. Perhaps not to the extent of this Butler situation, but there is tension that comes with professional basketball players trying to play at the highest level.
Yet for some reason, everything around Butler seems more drama filled, more easily obtainable to the public. This has turned from an internal battle with KAT and Wiggins into a full-fledged media embarrassment for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Why would a team like the Los Angeles Clippers, who are trying to avoid a rebuild and lure stars into LA despite having LeBron James in the purple and gold, want this kind of character in the locker room?
Quite frankly, the Clippers could use that cap space in a far better manner than offering Jimmy Butler a max extension. Pursue Kawhi Leonard and a second star alongside him, not Butler.