Butler’s Next Contract
If he’s traded to another team, he almost certainly will still not sign an extension until after the season, based on the fact that a player who’s traded can’t sign a new deal until 6 months after the trade date. After the 2018-19 season he’ll have a chance at the maximum 5 years, $190M if he re-signs with that team or a maximum 4 years, $141M if he signs elsewhere during free agency.
Rumored Trade Destinations
Reported trades for Butler include the Wolves receiving Eric Gordon ($13.5M) & P.J. Tucker ($8M) which is a valid trade based on Butler’s $20.5M cap hit this year. It’s likely draft picks will be included as well, but these have no bearing on the trade math. The Rockets have reportedly offered four first round picks for Jimmy Butler, but as enticing as that sounds, Wolves President & Head Coach Tom Thibodeau wants a bonafide player in return for Butler, to keep Minnesota relevant now (because draft picks represent assets for an era that he might not be apart of). The 1-5 Rockets are closing in on “desperation” mode, which could force them to go overboard to bring in a player of Butler’s value.
The Wizards are going nowhere fast to start 2018-19, though they were projected as a top 5 team in the east by many. Many around the team assume it’s getting to the point where either PG John Wall, or SG Bradley Beal will be moved off this team, as the duo just haven’t been able to improve themselves, or the team’s ability to win over the course of the past three seasons. Wall’s 4 year ,$170M extension doesn’t even kick in until next season, while Beal is signed through 2020 at caps of $25M, $27M, & $28M. The Timberwolves might have to toss in a pick to make this happen, but this seems to be one of the more even, and sensible trades out there right now.
While the Knicks don’t have much to offer in terms of superstar players to trade Minnesota, Butler makes a lot of sense in Madison Square Garden. As the current starting SG for New York. Tim Hardaway Jr. seems a logical fit to be considered in this deal, but it will most certainly take more. If the master plan for the Knicks is to bring in a player like Butler, and shoehorn Kevin Durant this offseason, it stands to reason they might consider shopping their 2018 1st round pick Kevin Knox in this trade as well. Trading for Butler now allows the Knicks to sign him next year using Bird Rights, which frees up flexibility & cap to make a run at a Durant or Thompson in free agency.
The Heat were rumored to be very close to locking in a deal prior to the start of the season, but things fell off at the last minute. The long and short here is that Miami is in a bit of financial trouble heading toward the 2019-20 season. They’ve extended a few of their own in recent months, and are playing .500 ball right now, but it might actually make good financial sense to trade key pieces ( Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, picks) and bring in Butler to run the show, betting on the fact that you can get him to extend next July.