Multiple teams have expressed desire to pair Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler together
Multiple teams across the league have expressed the desire to pair forward Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler in the offseason, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. Those teams would still need to create the cap space necessary to make room for two max slots, as both stars would command a maximum contract for four years.
Leonard and Butler are believed to have interest in playing on the same team, according to Begley.
“This doesn’t suggest that Leonard is seeking to team up with any other player; that doesn’t fit his persona. But teams interested in pairing Leonard and Butler believe they would have interest in playing together.”
Leonard’s decision likely hinges between re-signing with the Toronto Raptors or taking his talents back home to the L.A. Clippers, with the Los Angeles Lakers being nothing more than a hopeful proposition as it sits.
The Clippers, who have aimed to sign Kevin Durant, could quickly pivot toward Butler if Leonard does indeed agree to sign with them, quickly locking the two defensive-minded stars in place. The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets could look to go a similar route, but their efforts are more focused on Durant, who is reportedly still weighing his options in free agency.
The Houston Rockets have been pursuing a potential sign-and-trade that would net them Butler, but that could be an overly-complicated scenario that could see them involve a third team to amass the right compensation in terms of salary.
Be it as it may, a one-two punch of Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard would be an absolute nightmare on the wing with two players that speak the same language when it comes to their priorities on the court.