This was the marketing campaign for the Nets’ first year in Brooklyn, and the last time the Nets had supposed star power on their roster with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson at the helm.
Sure, there was Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in the infamous Boston Celtics trade, but it was clear both Hall of Famers were past their prime when they donned the Brooklyn black and white.
In the 2017 offseason, Brooklyn traded All-Star big man, Brook Lopez for D’Angelo Russell, a former #2 overall pick, who has star potential but has had trouble with injuries since coming to New York.
The Nets seem to be on the upswing of a rebuild thanks to general manager, Sean Marks, and acquiring Jimmy Butler in a trade could be a crown jewel for the franchise.
The Nets have always been the little brother to the New York Knicks, as the Knicks are generally perceived to be a more attractive destination (because who doesn’t want to play in Madison Square Garden?).
Brooklyn has been a laughing stock as of late, with the highest achievement in recent memory being a trip to the second round of the playoffs in 2014. Butler would change that.
For a player of Butler’s caliber to even consider the Nets is an accomplishment in itself, but the Nets also have the most to offer to Minnesota out of the teams that Butler listed as his preferred destinations, the Knicks and LA Clippers being his other choices.
Tom Thibodeau and the Wolves aren’t in a rush to fulfill Butler’s request, but the Nets could put together an enticing package that would allow Jimmy Buckets to land in BKN:
Nets receive: Jimmy Butler, Tyus Jones
Timberwolves receive: D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Caris LeVert
Aside from Butler, Russell would be headlining this trade, and if Thibs believes he can get DLo to the next level, flipping a disgruntled Butler for a fringe-offensive-star in Russell is a big win.
Allen Crabbe would be the key part financially, as his salary would allow the Nets to take on Butler’s one-year, $20.4 million contract.
But the kicker in this trade is Caris LeVert. The Nets should think twice about parting ways with the young wing, who has improved since coming into the league and has stayed relatively healthy, despite his last year in Michigan ending with a broken foot.
The Nets may want to see LeVert’s growth through, given that he’s been one of the better draft picks for the Nets, but when the opportunity to seize one of the league’s top two-way players presents itself, it should be taken.
Minnesota would lose their backup point guard in Tyus Jones, but with Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose also on the roster, that shouldn’t be an issue.
In this trade, the Wolves would be getting a young, promising point guard (who, by the way, is already friends with Karl-Anthony Towns), a quality sharpshooter, and an ever-improving ball-handling wing.
Trading for a big star would go against the Nets’ current culture, as their success has come by making smaller moves and holding onto their draft picks, but Brooklyn would still hang onto key players in their rotation: last year’s Most Improved Player candidate, Spencer Dinwiddie, who could step into a full-time starting role, young center, Jarrett Allen, and defensive pest, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
If Butler truly wants out, the Nets would be a fantastic place to hit reset for the four-time All-Star. And with the proposed players moving to Minnesota, the young Wolves could focus on improving as a core, something they haven’t done since Butler joined the team last year.