Does trading Jimmy Butler for Kawhi Leonard make sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs?
Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are two of the NBA superstars who are expected to part ways with their respective teams this offseason. After a season filled with drama and frustrations, Leonard expressed his desire to leave the San Antonio Spurs and start a new journey somewhere else. Meanwhile, Butler is rumored to be disappointed with his young teammates, specifically Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Both small forwards are set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If they won’t agree to sign a contract extension, trading Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler will be best for the Spurs and the Timberwolves than losing them for nothing in free agency. Trey Flynn of Fansided‘s Dunking With Wolves recently suggested a deal that will benefit the Spurs, the Timberwolves, and the two disgruntled superstars.
In the proposed trade deal, the Spurs will be trading Kawhi Leonard and a 2020 second-round pick to the Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones, and a 2020 unprotected first-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“This trade contractually goes through perfectly, mostly due to the fact Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler’s similarities go down to their dollar signs. The San Antonio Spurs will be getting a workhorse out of Jimmy Butler. If they want a Kawhi Leonard with a bit more enthusiasm, I can’t think of a better player to fit that mold and help groom a young Spurs team with Gregg Popovich at the helm.”
The Timberwolves will be needing to add Tyus Jones and a 2020 unprotected first-round pick to convince the Spurs to make a deal. Both superstars are undeniably two of the best two-way players in the league, but when healthy, there is no doubt that Kawhi Leonard is a much better player than Jimmy Butler. Spending his NBA career playing an unselfish basketball, Leonard won’t have a hard time building chemistry with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
The Spurs will surely love the idea of a superstar-for-superstar trade that will also give them a young point guard and a future first-round pick. This will keep them competitive in the Western Conference while slowly developing their young talents. Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich will definitely be thrilled having a defensive-minded superstar like Jimmy Butler who makes winning as his top priority.
The potential acquisition of Butler could make the Spurs an attractive destination for superstars in 2019 free agency. When the news about the drama in Minnesota spread, rumors started to circulate that Butler and Kyrie Irving are planning to play together in one team when they become an unrestricted free agent next summer. It’s still too early to predict whether Butler and Irving will both consider San Antonio or not, but if it happens, the Spurs will immediately become a major threat in the Western Conference.
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