Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves recently reiterated his desire to be traded. Minnesota has struggled to find a deal it likes after a few teams, namely the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets, have gone back and forth with the Timberwolves on potential deals. It has been weeks since Butler’s initial trade demand. Other teams may jump into the mix to test the waters (if they have not already.) The Detroit Pistons are one of the teams that have been rumored to be interested in trading for Butler. Here are a few reasons Detroit actually should not pursue JB.
He won’t resign in Detroit
Jimmy Butler is an unrestricted free agent next summer. He is almost certainly going somewhere warm and/or a winning situation. Detroit is neither of those. Even if Butler would re-sign with Detroit, who wants an aging, injury-prone star who would be on the wrong side of 30 for the majority of his five-year contract? Excuse me, I need to go bash my head into my desk at least seven times.
Detroit would have to give up too much for a one-year rental
The rumored asking prices from Minnesota in proposed Butler trades have been absurdly high given Minnesota’s lack of leverage, especially considering he has one year remaining on his contract and will already have missed training camp. Furthermore, Butler has been outspoken about his desire to leave.
Minnesota is setting the bar high, but you can’t really blame them. They’re going to lose a star and be a worse team this season. Regardless, The Pistons would likely have to give up both Luke Kennard and a first round pick, as well as salary filler. That’s probably a baseline for Minnesota. Knowing how they asked Miami for Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson, and a first round pick, you have to think Minnesota would expect more from Detroit. The Timberwolves would probably ask for Reggie Bullock too, and whoever else they like on Detroit’s roster. Heck, knowing Minnesota, they would be asking for Andre Drummond. Let’s hang up the phone, guys. But Kennard, Bullock and their own first rounder are their most prized assets outside of Drummond. They are not worth giving up considering, again, Jimmy has one year on his contract remaining.
The Pistons still wouldn’t be as good as other eastern conference contenders
Assuming Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson and Butler all stay healthy (I’m taking no freaking way for 500, Alex) the Pistons would be a talented, possibly top-4 team in the east. But are they better than Boston or even Toronto? I highly doubt it. Philadelphia? Maybe. Detroit would be a nice 50-win team that never realizes its potential before someone gets injured or when Butler leaves next summer.
Maybe none of this matters to owner Tom Gores. His shortsightedness has compromised the Pistons’ long term success several times in the past. But if Ed Stefanski and company have any actual control over the roster, let’s hope Detroit doesn’t give up on what they are (slowly) building. Kennard may never amount to anything special, and Bullock has one year left on his contract too, but adding Butler doesn’t make the Pistons real contenders for the lone season he would be in Detroit and rids them of their only young assets.