Minnesota Timberwolves

Five trade destinations for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler

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Jimmy Butler (NBA Getty Images)

Jimmy Butler is one step closer to wearing a different uniform this season.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the four-time All-Star has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves following only one season with the franchise. Butler reportedly has a list of "one-to-three teams" that he's open to signing an extension with, but there are up to five teams that could put together an interesting trade package for him before the start of the season.

From the Toronto Raptors to the Brooklyn Nets, let's take a look at each team in detail...

Toronto Raptors

Who could move the needle: OG Anunoby, Delon Wright, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam

The Raptors were a part of the biggest trade of the summer when they sent DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.

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Do they have another blockbuster move in them before the start of the season?

The Raptors could certainly be in the running. Serge Ibaka or Jonas Valanciunas would probably be at the center of the deal to match Butler's salary of $20.4 million this season, but the potential of OG Anunoby, Delon Wright, Fred VanVleet and/or Pascal Siakam would be the biggest draw for the Timberwolves.

For the Raptors, adding Butler to their core of Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard wouldn't only close the gap between them and the Boston Celtics - it would give them the star power needed to compete for an NBA title. The risk of losing both Leonard and Butler as free agents next offseason might prevent them from ultimately getting involved, however.

Los Angeles Lakers

Who could move the needle: Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma

The Lakers will have the cap space to offer Butler a max contract if he chooses to become a free agent next offseason. They also have enough talent to trade for him now.

The reason to make a move now rather than wait a year? The Lakers lost out on signing Paul George and didn't trade for Kawhi Leonard this offseason, and Butler is the best perimeter player available on the market. As risky as it is trading for a player with potentially one year remaining on their contract, Los Angeles would have a better chance of competing this season with Butler on its roster.

That's important considering LeBron James is entering this season at age 34. After the season he just had, the Lakers might look to make the most of LeBron's prime by pairing him with another superstar instead of seeing what they have in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

New York Knicks

Who could move the needle: Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina

The Knicks are the first of three teams reportedly on Butler's shortlist.

Like the Lakers, the Knicks have some intriguing young players they can offer the Timberwolves for Butler. Kristaps Porzingis is likely untouchable, but the franchise has used its last two lottery picks to select a pair of talented prospects in Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina. Knox's versatility as a scorer would fit in well with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota, and Ntilikina has the tools to thrive defensively under Tom Thibodeau's guidance.

While the Knicks don't have the talent to contend in the Eastern Conference this season, they'll have the cap space to be players in free agency next offseason when the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins become available.

The possibility of pairing Butler with one of them - plus Porzingis - in the bright lights of New York makes the Knicks intriguing.

Brooklyn Nets

Who could move the needle: D'Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert

One of the other teams on Butler's shortlist? The Nets.

The Nets put themselves in a position to acquire a player of Butler's calibre when they traded Timofey Mozgov this offseason. In parting ways with the big man, Brooklyn shaved $17 million off of their cap sheet for 2019-20, giving them the flexibility to offer two max contracts in the summer of 2019.

Butler's impending extension would obviously eat into that space, but having him on their roster would likely make it easier for the franchise to lure a Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant in free agency.

Los Angeles Clippers

Who could move the needle: Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson

The Clippers are the final team on Butler's shortlist.

Unlike the Knicks and Nets, the Clippers were on the cusp of making the playoffs last season. The addition of Butler could be what puts them over the edge, whether it's by surrounding him with veterans like Lou Williams and Tobias Harris, young prospects like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson or a combination of the two.

Whatever the case may be, Los Angeles will be looking to make a splash in free agency next summer, when they have the cap space to compete with the Lakers, Knicks and Nets.

Honourable mention

The Milwaukee Bucks because they're in need of a second star to pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Indiana Pacers because they're in need of a second star to pair with Victor Oladipo.

The Miami Heat because they're a playoff team hoping to take the next step.

The Philadelphia 76ers because a trio of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Butler would be unstoppable on both ends of the court.

The Boston Celtics because they have the greatest collection of young talent in the league.

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