It seemingly was a foregone conclusion Jimmy Butler wouldn’t last in Minnesota this season. The only question was, who would be the Timberwolves’ dance partner in a trade for the four-time All-Star?
The T-Wolves reportedly received offers from both the New Orleans Pelicans, Miami Heat and Houston Rockets before ultimately shipping Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. Minnesota received adequate compensation in the form of Dario Saric and Robert Covington, but the franchise reportedly had its eyes set on a much more noteworthy name.
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Timberwolves hoped to break up the lethal backcourt that resides in the nation’s capital.
“Word is the Wolves did try to engage Washington — another team falling well short of expectations — in trade talks for the sharpshooting guard Bradley Beal,” Stein writes.
“But the Wizards have kept Beal off limits amid their 4-9 start. They would naturally prefer to trade the struggling Otto Porter, or perhaps even John Wall, but both possess hard-to-move contracts.”
Washington probably was wise to pass on this reported deal. While Butler, obviously, is one of the best two-way players in the league, his fiery personality might not have meshed well with the Wizards, who reportedly have dealt with locker-room issues the past few seasons. Pairing Butler with Wall could have created a messy situation in D.C.
The statuses of the contracts also don’t line up. All signs point to Butler opting out and becoming a free agent next summer, while Beal still has two years left on his deal. Butler probably is the better player right now, but Beal is far too talented to part ways with for an effective rental player.
But hey, we can’t blame the T-Wolves for shooting their shot.
Thumbnail photo via Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports