Season Preview: Denver Nuggets
Quietly, the Denver Nuggets have turned into an offensive juggernaut led by a budding superstar in center Nikola Jokic.
The Jimmy Butler drama has died down as of late and you can thank the Minnesota Timberwolves for that. They are trying to trade Butler but not really. Teams have mostly given up and are waiting for the asking price to be reasonable.
Butler has little say where he will be traded to but his contract expires after this season. He should not sign an extension and instead sign with the New York Knicks. I say the Knicks because they have money to sign two superstars next summer and that in itself is a big deal.
The Knicks won't trade for Butler and that is the best thing for them to do. Why give up assets when Butler will be a free agent in less than a year? If Butler still wants to sign with the Knicks in the summer, they will sign him in a heartbeat. The Knicks got it right and now it is up to Butler to do the same.
Minnesota wants to trade Butler because the internal conflicts are creating problems. Teammates don't want to play with each other and Butler hasn't shown up to media day or the preseason. Trading Butler means asking for players and draft picks teams are going to part with to get him. Instead, the Wolves are asking for too much and need to reduce their asking price.
Yes, the Wolves should get something good back but there isn't a lot of value in a player that has one year left on his contract and is almost guaranteed to be traded. The Wolves might pretend they have the leverage in the trade talks but they don't. They need to trade Butler before the season starts or more drama will ensue.
There are a few teams that Butler will fit in well with but the Knicks are right for him. They are one of his preferred teams and they build around Butler instead of just trying to fit him in an established roster. And who knows who else the Knicks sign next summer.
The future is bright for the Knicks and Butler can get on the ride before it takes off. Every player wants to be in a good situation and the Knicks can provide just that. New York won't trade for Butler but that doesn't mean they don't want him. They are thinking about the bigger picture and that alone should reassure Butler.