Jimmy Butler never had interest in going to New York
When now Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler demanded a trade out of his former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, many speculated where the two-way star would eventually end up. According to previous reports, one of the teams Butler was interested in joining was the New York Knicks. However, Keith Pompey of The Philly Inquirer reports that the four-time NBA All-Star never really wanted to go to The Big Apple.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 28, 2018
Along with New York, Butler also listed the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Brooklyn Nets as potential trade destinations that he wanted. Of course, he didn’t end up on one of his desired teams the Timberwolves ended up trading him to Philadelphia to join the budding star duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
While he did not get traded to any of his preferred teams, Butler seems to have landed in a better situation with Philadelphia rather than in New York. With the Sixers, he is by no means the main star on this team as he has to share the spotlight with Embiid and Simmons. However, he is joining a team that can contend and win right away while the 29-year old is in his prime.
Yes, Butler would be the face of the franchise had he ended up in New York. But the Knicks are nowhere near to being title contenders, and Butler’s addition certainly wouldn’t significantly move their needle closer to that direction. Moreover, while he may join a budding superstar in New York with Kristaps Porzingis, there is too much uncertainty whether he could go back to his All-Star form before he tore his ACL last February.
So far, Butler seems to have found a home and a niche in Philadelphia. In seven games with his new team, Butler has already made his impact, winning two games for the Sixers off of game-winning triples. Butler is currently averaging 20.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.1 steals in his Sixers career thus far.