Don’t do it.
While it’s probably excruciating for the New York Knicks to pass up on one of the league’s best two-way players, Jimmy Butler, the Knicks have to stop for a second and think clearly.
It’s easy to daydream: fast-tracking the road back to relevance, to do away with all of the incompetent front office jokes, and essentially trade for a guaranteed playoff spot in this upcoming season.
But Knicks president, Steve Mills has the right idea. Mills knows that in order to have sustained success, rather than bask in mediocrity, the Knicks have to create everything from the ground up. And they’re well on their way.
Everyone remembers the boos on draft night for Kristaps Porzingis, but it turned out to be the right move. Parting ways with Phil Jackson and trading Carmelo Anthony were the right moves.
Taking Kevin Knox at this year’s draft was an indication that the Knicks are now operating how they believe is best, and not necessarily concerning themselves with the rowdy, New York faithful.
The Knicks could’ve taken Michael Porter Jr. at #9, but realizing the amount of risk that comes with Porter’s injury history, they went with the safer and smarter pick in Knox.
Knox was an absolute wrecking ball in Summer League, averaging 21.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds. Knox is poised to silence the critics and become a fan favorite, and not if, but when he does, he will be the symbol of the new New York Knicks.
Which takes us to Jimmy Buckets.
The Knicks should not sacrifice anything they have going for them right now in order to chase Butler.
Porzingis is recovering from his ACL injury, meaning more minutes for Knox at the power forward position, at least in the beginning of the season.
Frank Ntilikina has promise, and although he won’t be a superstar, he can develop into a key rotation player for the Knicks. His length and physical abilities show potential for a lockdown defender, a type of player every team needs in today’s guard-driven league.
When rumors spread about the possibility of Butler and Kyrie Irving planning to team up on the Knicks in 2019, Knicks fans rejoiced and hoped for it to come to fruition.
As ludicrous as it may sound, maybe the Knicks shouldn’t hope
for that result. An Irving-Butler backcourt would be deadly, but it would likely also stunt the growth of the players currently on the Knicks roster.
If many of the Knicks’ key players grow over this upcoming season, and New York has money to spend on a free agent that fits their system, then it can’t really hurt.
But as of now, trading for Butler would not be wise, and it doesn’t look like it’ll happen.