Where Will Jimmy Butler Be Traded? – Latest Odds and Betting Pick

By Noah Davis
Published on September 21, 2018
Jimmy Butler Question Marks

If you were wondering who the first big NBA star to be dealt this year would be, wonder no more. While there’s no guarantee the Minnesota Timberwolves cave to star guard Jimmy Butler’s recent trade demands, he’s at least let his intentions be known.

Per reports, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau flew to Los Angeles to meet with Butler on Wednesday and ultimately discovered Butler wanted out of Minnesota.

The Jimmy Butler trade rumors had already been swirling since the end of last year, but now they’re official, and sports bettors can start targeting any Jimmy Butler prop bets that pop up.

A good starting point might be the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Those are on Butler’s preferred list of teams he’d be dealt to. Part of that surely has to do with Butler starting fresh and being “the guy” in his new stop, but those teams also will have the money to pay him a max contract next summer.

Winning doesn’t appear to be first and foremost for Butler these days, so provided he is promised a big role and gets paid, it’s fair to wonder how long his “preferred” list actually might be.

It’s also worth pointing out that players don’t normally get to call the shots in trade talks. Carmelo Anthony’s first choice probably wasn’t the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, while Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard also weren’t traded to the teams they had at the top of their lists.

While that could be the same type of path Butler is about to go down, bettors need to keep an open mind. For now, all we know is that Butler wants out, and considering he’s entering a contract year, Minnesota would be wise to help facilitate his exit.

There aren’t many Jimmy Butler trade odds out as I write this, but barring a super-fast deal in the next day or so, I’m sure they’ll pop up at a few more of the top betting sites.

With that, here’s a quick breakdown of the NBA teams I think make the most sense for Butler.

New York Knicks (+375)

We might as well start with the Knicks, seeing as they’re on Butler’s list of preferred landing spots. They’ll have the cash to offer him a huge deal, and this is obviously a historic franchise.

They also have a star in place in Kristaps Porzingis, and with a ton of moving pieces on their roster, they’re not so handcuffed that they can’t make one more big move to launch themselves into high-level playoff contention.

There has been talk that the Knicks could chase Kyrie Irving in free agency and landing Butler with a long-term deal could tempt him to bolt out of Boston.

The trade is the problematic part. New York isn’t giving up Zinger, so they might actually have to consider coughing up talented rookie Kevin Knox.

Enes Kanter for Butler with some picks thrown in works financially, but that won’t move the needle for the T’Wolves.

A package like this would work by the numbers and could be worth it for Minnesota.

  • Wolves Get: Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, and draft picks
  • Knicks Get: Jimmy Butler and Tyus Jones

The money works in this deal, while you could actually swap Kanter for Joakim Noah, and the money is the same. That won’t happen, but it’d put four former Bulls on Thibs’ roster, and that’d just be hilarious.

Maybe if you can shove off Noah’s awful contract, it makes sense, or if you believe it gets you Irving as well. But Knox is a special talent, and Ntilikina could still turn into a solid starter. I’m not saying New York shouldn’t pull the trigger, but they should at least hesitate.

If the Knicks want to win in a year or two, this could be the first big move that quickly turns them into a title threat out of the East.

Considering New York’s NBA Finals odds are currently +20000 at SportsBetting.ag and other NBA betting sites, it’s absolutely something the Knicks need to think about.

Brooklyn Nets (+300)

The case is similar with the Nets, but they lack a true superstar talent at the moment. The Knicks have at least one, and depending what Kevin Knox ends up being, they might have two.

Brooklyn has a very fun system and a lot of solid players who can run the floor and hit from long range. I wouldn’t call D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson building blocks for a franchise hoping to compete for a championship anytime soon, though.

I like their roster just fine, but if the Nets actually want to do anything of merit, perhaps they need to start moving bodies out and acquiring legit talent. They will have money to pay Butler and should be able to make big moves if they set them up the right way.

Assuming the Knicks won’t deal Knox (again, I wouldn’t), Brooklyn arguably has more to offer. They have Spencer Dinwiddie at a severe discount, so I’d consider moving D’Lo if it makes sense (he has troublesome knees, anyways) and packaging him with a couple of players and next year’s #1 pick.

A trade for Butler could go down looking something like this.

  • Wolves Get: D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and 2019 1st
  • Nets Get: Jimmy Butler and Tyus Jones

I’m throwing Jones in here again because he reportedly was floating the idea of his own trade out of town last year. With Minnesota landing another point guard in this deal, perhaps he could find a spot to play with the Nets.

This is admittedly a lot for the Nets to give up, but Russell is no lock to pay off, Carroll is an aged (and pricey) veteran, and RHJ is a hybrid player that won’t fit for everyone. They all offer value and can fill key roles for the T’Wolves, however.

I’m not sold this deal goes through, but the compensation is there for Minnesota, and it’d be a spot Butler wants to go to. Landing Butler could vault the Nets to playoff contention, and next year, it could lead to another 1-2 huge moves that maybe even get them talking about a title.

Brooklyn presently offers atrocious +100000 NBA Finals odds, so it’s pretty obvious how big this deal could be for them.

Los Angeles Clippers (+350)

The other team on Jimmy Butler’s wish list is the one that, to me, makes the most sense for all parties.

Unlike the Knicks or Nets, of course, it’d require Minnesota dealing with a team inside their own conference, and that’s not really ever ideal.

Still, the Clips have a lot of solid talent on their roster and right now are a fringe team that could either make the playoffs or barely miss the cut. Landing Butler would give them a big boost and perhaps get them into the top 8 by the end of the year.

Again, I’m not sure how excited Minnesota is about making this one work, but Butler would go to a team a lot closer to winning, and he’d still get paid. The T’Wolves also wouldn’t be wanting for compensation.

Here’s one deal that could make a lot of sense.

  • Wolves Get: Tobias Harris, Jerome Robinson, and 2019 1st
  • Clippers Get: Jimmy Butler

I personally don’t think this trade is much better than Brooklyn’s, but at least Harris is a legit star. He’s no superstar, but he’s just 25, highly versatile, and a potential building block.

He could take over at the three, while Robinson is an interesting talent, and Minnesota could hope to get something out of the Clippers’ 2019 first-rounder.

For the Clippers, they give up a good player and a prospect (as well as a pick), but they get their answer to LeBron James and don’t have to sacrifice the rest of their core. Butler joins the likes of Avery Bradley, Marcin Gortat, Patrick Beverley, and Danilo Gallinari on an LA team that suddenly could win right now.

The Clippers only have +25000 Finals odds right now, but this deal would give them a significant boost.

Boston Celtics (+1100)

This one doesn’t seem that realistic from the perspective that the Celtics have already changed their team so much, and they’re just now getting healthy.

I know the future surrounding Kyrie Irving is murky, but both he and Gordon Hayward coming back at full strength is the main reason Boston has the second-best odds in the NBA (+600) to win it all this year.

Still, the long con could be the Celtics want to keep Irving, and landing Butler could ensure that happens. Gordon Hayward is a guy they clearly wanted, but things happen, and his nasty injury of a year ago (plus the possibility of landing Butler) could send him packing.

I’d stand pat if I were the Celtics, but this would be a tough deal to pass up.

  • Wolves Get: Gordon Hayward and 2019 1st
  • Celtics Get: Jimmy Butler and Gorgui Dieng

Hayward’s money makes any trade with him complicated, but Butler is an upgrade, and Boston even gets a valuable reserve in Dieng. Minnesota gets a slight downgrade and can keep truckin’ on, while another 2019 first-rounder can’t hurt them.

Boston is already a threat to win the championship this year, so while I can see why they’d make a splash, I don’t really think they’ll risk it. If Hayward and Irving are healthy, they just might be the best team in the Eastern Conference.

Dallas Mavericks

I actually think the Mavs are interesting, just because they’re one more big move away from getting back into the playoffs, and landing Butler might boost them even further.

Their core of Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, and rookie Luka Doncic is very talented, and adding Butler to the mix could make them pretty nasty. That slides Barnes to the four, and Butler mans the three in what is suddenly a stacked roster.

The Mavs are nowhere close to competing for a title yet (+20000), but getting a stud two-way wing player certainly makes them a heck of a lot better. I still don’t know how the T’Wolves would feel about trading away such a good play inside their own conference, while the trade Dallas can offer might not be all that enticing.

The big thing is that Dallas can offer cash next year, and they’ve got an appealing roster, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Butler was into it.

I’m sure the Mavs would love to keep Barnes, but I think for this to happen, he’d have to be the main casualty.

  • Wolves Get: Harrison Barnes and J.J. Barea and 2019 1st
  • Mavs Get: Jimmy Butler and Tyus Jones

This isn’t a huge haul, but Barnes is a solid replacement for the departing Butler, and Barea is a great bench scorer. A first-rounder to keep building sweetens the pot.

Dallas has to give up a guy they like in Barnes, but Butler is an upgrade at both ends of the floor. Jones is a younger option that helps ease the pain of letting fan favorite Barea go.

This isn’t one of my favorite deals, but you know Mark Cuban loves to make big moves.

Dallas also has a ton of cash next offseason, so if Butler wants to go somewhere where he’ll be the top dog, get paid, and can actually win at some point, Big D may be on the table.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets can’t be done swinging for the fences. They lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, suddenly derailing what looked to be Golden State’s playoff kryptonite.

Houston still has a fantastic system and a nasty two-headed dragon in CP3 and James Harden, while Eric Gordon is a fantastic third scoring option.

Bringing in Carmelo Anthony and ridding themselves of that awful Ryan Anderson contract could end up being fine moves, but I don’t know if it closes the gap between them and the Warriors.

One more big move may be necessary, and with the team taking a hit at small forward, landing a stud two-way perimeter talent like Butler could cure what ails them. It just won’t be easy to do.

  • Wolves Get: Eric Gordon, Nene Hilario, and all of the picks
  • Rockets Get: Jimmy Butler

Truth be told, the Rockets would eat this up, but it’s not going to happen. As things stand, Houston has their obvious untouchables, and it’ll be a bit before guys like Melo could even be thought to be included in prospective deals.

This is the best trade Minnesota could get from the Rockets right now. Obviously, if Minnesota buckled and gave Butler up, they’d be helping out a team that already has +800 NBA Finals odds.

It’s a longshot, but Minnesota would get a very good scoring guard in Gordon, backup depth, and whatever draft picks they can shake out of Houston. That being said, this would be a giveaway, and it’s hard to envision it.

Los Angeles Lakers (+900)

The last team I’m looking at is the Lake Show. Butler doesn’t have them on his list, but would he really be mad about chasing titles with LeBron James with one of the greatest NBA franchises in league history?

I doubt it, while James could get a mighty fine pivot off of Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard has been rumored to be interested in going to the Lakers, but if he’s staying in Toronto or considering other destinations, perhaps the Lakers decide not to wait and just grab Butler.

LA added a slew of veterans they can’t yet trade, but Butler would be a huge get and may make some young prospects expendable. For a team getting older in a hurry to compete for championships, the Lakers have to be eyeing one more big move like this.

Here’s a deal that could pry Butler from the T’Wolves.

  • Wolves Get: Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and more
  • Lakers Get: Jimmy Butler

The issue here is the finances. At the moment, there really isn’t any deal the Lakers could swing for Butler that would make the money match. They’d need to acquire a big contract or simply wait to unload guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and/or Rajon Rondo.

Perhaps that’s their plan. For now, though, they don’t have a direct path to making this work.

Bringing in a third team with cap space and fat salaries to move around like the Atlanta Hawks could make things go easier, but the Lakers still need to match the cash, and right now, they can’t.

If they can figure it out, however, they have more raw talent to offer anyone this side of the Boston Celtics. Getting Butler isn’t completely out of the question, and he’d lift their already fun +1000 title odds quite a bit.

Where Will Jimmy Butler End Up?

You can probably build a faint case for just about anyone to trade for Jimmy Butler. He’s still in his prime at 29 years of age, he can dominate offensively, and he willingly (and successfully) takes the toughest assignment every night at the other end of the court.

I do tend to think Butler is somewhat overrated, but he helped Minnesota win 20 extra games and get back to the playoffs after an insanely long drought last year. That counts for something, and with other stars likely to want to play with him, he enhances any destination he lands in.

This could be a fluid situation, and it’s possible Butler isn’t dealt for several months. In fact, the only betting site with Jimmy Butler trade odds right now (Bovada) has Minnesota as the favorite for where he’ll play game 1 of the upcoming season.

If and when he is traded, though, I think the Knicks lead the way.

I hope they don’t have to give up Knox to make this work, but if they can get Irving and morph into a title contender in less than a year, it might be worth it.

More than anything, Minnesota has to want to move Butler out of the conference, and they’ll probably look for the best package they can get. If the Knicks dangle Knox, I’m not sure anyone beats them in negotiations – barring the Celtics going out on a limb with something crazy.

PICKNew York Knicks+375
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Where Will Jimmy Butler Be Traded? - Latest Odds and Betting Pick
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With Jimmy Butler requesting a trade out of Minnesota, bettors need to try to gauge where he might end up if dealt this year. Read the report here.
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