With the start of the NBA regular season just over a week away, Jimmy Butler still remains a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The four-time All-Star requested a trade last month after just one full season with the team and his coach from the Chicago Bulls, Thom Thibodeau.
There has been no shortage of action on the market as the Timberwolves and Miami Heat had made significant progress on a possible trade that looked like it would get done over the weekend. However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that negotiations fell apart.
So it's back to square one for the Timberwolves, who are looking to get rid of Butler as soon as possible. If they are unable to deal the shooting guard, they run the risk of losing him to free agency next summer for nothing.
For New York Knicks fans, it offers a small glimmer of hope that the team could re-enter the conversation for Butler. The Knicks were originally considered a frontrunner for the 29-year-old even before he was put on the trade market, as rumors swirled that he and Kyrie Irving would team up at Madison Square Garden one day.
Once Butler's trade demand came to fruition though, Knicks president Steve Mills made it clear that he was unwilling to give up draft picks or young talent for Butler. Especially if there isn't a guarantee that he would re-sign with the team in July of 2019.
Will the Knicks pursue a Jimmy Butler trade?
It looks as though nothing has changed over the past few weeks as Wojnarowski added that the Knicks haven't even called up the Timberwolves to gauge on what it would take to get Butler.
The Knicks are poised to become a threat in the Eastern Conference in the next year even without trading for Butler. Mills believes the team could always lure him to New York in free agency over the summer, only delaying his arrival while not giving up vital assets.
New York is projected to have two max-salary slots to utilize in free agency, which will give Butler the big-time contract he's been waiting for while having the capacity to bring on another top-tier talent, whether that's a player like Kyrie Irving or Klay Thompson or even Kevin Durant.
Coupling that kind of talent with a healthy Kristaps Porzingis and Knox, who is expected to develop into a star, and the Knicks could quickly begin challenging the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers atop the Eastern Conference.