2 mystery teams in pursuit of Jimmy Butler trade: 4 guesses on the likely teams including the Knicks and Pistons

jimmy butler
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

While various reports have suggested the Philadelphia 76ers would be top contenders for Jimmy Butler if he indeed hit the trade market, it looks like two other mystery teams are expected to be in pursuit if the Miami Heat start taking trade offers.

Ever since Jimmy Butler landed in Miami it was a match made in heaven. The six-time All-Star was a perfect fit for the system of head coach Erik Spoelstra and he has been the leader of a team that has reached the NBA Finals twice in the last five years. It seemed a high likelihood that the 34-year-old would finish his career in South Beach. Well, not so fast.

Jimmy Butler stats (2023-24): 20.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 41% 3PT

Also Read: New York Knicks front office ‘promised’ owner they’d get him stars: 5 logical big names they could soon target, including Lebron James

A schism developed between the two sides recently over the maximum deal he is eligible for. However, the always cost-effective Miami franchise is not too keen on giving an aging star a deal that could pay him over $161 million in the next three seasons. Now, there is speculation the team’s best player could be playing elsewhere next season.

Oddly enough, Butler’s previous team, the Philadelphia 76ers, are seen as favorites to land his services if their pursuit of Paul George fails. However, on Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported “There are two other teams that have made it known in league circles that they would be willing to trade for Jimmy Butler and sign him to a max-level contract.”

Let’s take a look a some potential options for the two other mystery teams that might pursue Jimmy Butler this summer.

New York Knicks

jimmy butler
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks’ primary objective this summer will be to re-sign OG Anunoby. However, if they can’t bring back the talented forward, chasing a blockbuster trade for Butler makes a lot of sense. While he doesn’t have the long-term upside of Anunoby, a case could be made he is the missing piece for a serious championship contender in the next two seasons.

Also Read: Philadelphia 76ers could make OG Anunoby a massive offer to force Knicks’ hand

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons have the most available cap space this summer and no team more badly needs an All-Star and leader to join their roster than them. They have some solid young pieces and a talented coach in Monty Williams and Butler is the type of player who could make Detroit an immediate playoff contender next season. As well as help build a winning culture that lasts long after he leaves.

Oklahoma City Thunder

jimmy butler
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder showed they are way ahead of schedule this season as they secured the top seed in the Western Conference and made it to the semifinals. If the organization wanted to go all-in on winning a title now before the new CBA guidelines make having a big three nearly impossible, Butler could make OKC the favorites to reach the Finals in 2025.

Also Read: VIDEO – Hall-of-Famer makes passionate pitch for New York Knicks to keep Julius Randle, warns against trade for superstar: ‘Ya’ll trippin’

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs stood pat and did not spend last summer. However, now that they know French phenom Victor Wembanyama is a legitimate rising star, he needs help from a battle-tested veteran to carry the leadership load and develop the other young players on the roster. While he won’t make them a title contender, they should be in contention for a playoff spot, and playing for legendary head coach Gregg Popovich might intrigue the future Hall-of-Famer.

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