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RUMOR: Pelicans offered Timberwolves first-round pick and Nikola Mirotic for Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves, Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans tried to acquire small forward Jimmy Butler, offering the Minnesota Timberwolves a first-round pick and stretch forward Nikola Mirotic, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Pelicans are trying to acquire a star player to pair alongside big man Anthony Davis, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. The Timberwolves declined the Pelicans’ offer and ultimately traded Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round draft pick.

The Pelicans are in a tough spot right now. They don’t have enough talent around Anthony Davis to compete in the rugged Western Conference. Out of fear of losing Davis for nothing in free agency, New Orleans could look to trade The Brow and get a good haul, although the team hasn’t given any indication they are looking to trade the superstar big man.

Jimmy Butler is the only All-Star player who has been on the trade block this season and barring something unforeseen, another high-caliber player probably won’t become available for the Pelicans to pursue.

New Orleans is 15-15 on the season, 11th place in the Western Conference. Davis is averaging 28.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game and shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from beyond the arc.