Season Preview: Denver Nuggets
Quietly, the Denver Nuggets have turned into an offensive juggernaut led by a budding superstar in center Nikola Jokic.
Well if you haven't already heard, Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. His top three preferred destinations are the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Brooklyn Nets. While I can't speak for the Knicks or Clippers, I can say that the Nets shouldn't even consider trading for Butler.
The Nets are lush with young talent, many of whom are poised for a break out year. Their log jam of guards include fringe All Star D'angelo Russell, a surprise break out player in Spencer Dinwiddie, home grown Caris LaVert, and much more. Also on the Nets roster is Swiss army knife Rhondae Hollis Jefferson, young budding center Jarrett Allen, and the sharp shooting Joe Harris. Each of these guys is younger than Butler, cheaper than Butler, and already have chemistry together. There's zero reason to throw any of them into a trade to shortcut a rebuild.
Sean Marks has made the Nets into a team that's still a solid two years from being a serious force in the Eastern Conference. Their rebuild is going along at a respectable pace and Marks has shown he's willing to do it right and not rush. Thus there's zero reason to bring in an aging All Star; Jimmy Butler alone won't push the Nets into contention, especially in their current state. While the East can be considered to be wide open, the Nets aren't close to being on top.
The biggest problem with a Jimmy Butler trade is that he's due to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. Brooklyn is poised to be one of the most cap rich teams come next summer, so it does make sense as to why Butler mentioned the Nets. That being said, throwing a max contract, which would equate to over $100 million over a 4/5 year period, at an aging Jimmy Butler is a terrible idea. Brooklyn already has to worry about locking up their own home grown talent in Russell and Hollis-Jefferson, neither should be sacrificed to have to sign Butler.
Hey, remember the last time the Nets made a trade for big names? Yeah…let's not have the past repeat itself.