Knicks Twitter naturally went into a frenzy after today’s Woj bomb:
Minnesota's Jimmy Butler has three preferred destinations for a trade, league sources tell ESPN: The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Those three teams have max cap space to sign Butler as a free agent in July.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2018
Jimmy Buckets is a real nice player (4x NBA All-Star, 4x NBA All-Defensive Team) and Knicks fans have the right to be excited about a player of this caliber being linked to NYC. However, let’s learn from past mistakes (see: Carmelo trade) and analyze the current state of the Knicks before we go all in on the guy.
For one, they simply aren’t close to being a contender, or even a playoff team. Had KP been healthy, this move might make sense. But with KP out, it’d be wise to let the young core of this team in Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson, lead the way and grow. Had this team had KP healthy, and showed signs of taking those next steps, then, yes, the 29 year old Butler would be a nice number two.
“We are not going to trade our draft picks”
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) September 17, 2018
Secondly, if Jimmy Butler truly wants to be a Knick, he’ll sign here next summer. No need to sacrifice a part of that young core or draft picks. Under that scenario, it’d be perfectly okay and a sign that he, and the Knicks, more importantly, believe KP will be fine moving forward. Personally, I’d rather Kyrie who shows more of that “Alpha” mentality that the Knicks haven’t had in quite some time.
Third, there’s no way the Timberwolves would take on some of the bad contracts (see: THJ, Noah, Lee) just to get rid of Jimmy. There’s got to be other teams, who think they’re close, that can offer actual value. Maybe the Raptors have another trick up their sleeve as the Eastern Conference becomes LeBron-less for the first time in 15 years?
I hope the Knicks pass on this opportunity, and I believe they will. Pending KP’s health, this team could be on the upswing real soon. However, they’re realistically two years, at the earliest, from hopefully making some noise again in the NBA. Let Jimmy Buckets go scream at someone else’s kids because I sure as hell don’t want him at MSG doing it.