Last year before Jimmy Butler was traded, there was a rumor circulating around the Chicago Basketball scene that he wanted to play in Los Angeles.
Michael Pena of Vice Sports had a terrific piece on Butler, and here are a few parts that really stuck out in my mind to reinforce that:
But even if the Timberwolves fall short, Butler will certainly use his time in Minneapolis to expand his fame over the next few years. With the league’s popularity increasing every day in countries all over the world, a genuine superstar’s brand is worth exponentially more than the $19.3 million Minnesota owes Butler this season. Off-court opportunities are constantly nipping at his attention. Three years ago, he took a 75 percent pay cut to go from adidas to Jordan, joining Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, and over a dozen other NBA stars. (During our day together, Butler poked fun at a camera operator wearing adidas tennis shoes.)
Bonobos, a menswear company that was recently bought by Walmart, made Butler their brand ambassador last August. And just this month he released his own signature underwear line with PSD, a company Kyrie Irving and Chandler Parsons are also affiliated with. (Butler’s photographer Phil envisions a coffee table book. “If Kim Kardashian can do it,” he says. “Why can’t Jimmy?”)
Jimmy Buckets is also really good friends with Mark Wahlberg (most people know this by now). Wahlberg has been encouraging Butler to get into showbiz and even helped him land his first movie role. Pena touches on that as well with:
Last year, he dipped his toe in Hollywood by appearing in Office Christmas Party, a comedy his life guru Mark Wahlberg helped put him in. Butler met Wahlberg in 2013 while the actor was filming a Transformers movie in Chicago. They’ve been close friends ever since, with Butler citing the 46-year-old’s vigorous work ethic as one of the biggest inspirations in his life.
No, Jimmy Butler has not asked for a trade, and no he has not come out and said he wants to be in Los Angeles. And yes, Butler is having a monster year in Minnesota. But just imagine if the Timberwolves get bounced out of the playoffs early this year. If the Timberwolves get wind that Butler is going to wind up in LA when he becomes a free agent, they would have to consider trading him to at least recoup some of their losses.
Trading for Butler would be a no-brainer for the Clippers, who would be able to get a Top 10 NBA player in his prime and someone who is most likely to extend with them.
And imagine if the Clippers could land Butler and pair him with one of these guys that Lee Jenkins mentions below. Things will get 🔥…
The Clippers likely won’t be major players in free agency this summer, but they have an eye on 2019, when Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler could become available. Thompson and Leonard are Southern California natives and Butler spends his summers in Malibu.
Another team to keep an eye on is the Los Angeles Lakers, who will have both the money and assets to make a Butler trade happen.