Lakers could explore move for Jimmy Butler

While the Los Angeles Lakers could wait until free agency, there’s the possibility that star wing Jimmy Butler could find himself on the trade market in the near future. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ All-Star is slated to meet with Tom Thibodeau to discuss his future with the franchise.

Butler and Thibodeau have a strong relationship, dating back to their days with the Chicago Bulls. Butler has been rumored to be at odds with several factions of the Timberwolves franchise, and he will discuss the team’s future during the meeting.

Butler, however, could receive nearly $50 million more by staying in Minnesota. According to ESPN, Butler will be eligible to sign a 5-year, $189.7 million max contract with the Timberwolves. He would be limited to a 4-year, $140.6 million deal with any one of the other 29 teams.

Both LA teams–Lakers and Clippers–could be in the market for Butler’s services when he hits the open market next summer. The Lakers arguably have more moveable assets, as the team tries to build a winner centered around LeBron James.

While the Lakers could wait until free agency to try to woo Butler, Paul George proved that a franchise’s decision to wait could be costly.

The Timberwolves are expected to pull out all the stops to retain Butler, considering they paid a heavy price to acquire him from the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers, meanwhile, have a host of young wings on their roster, although none come with Butler’s All-Star pedigree.

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