The Knicks said they wouldn't take shortcuts with their rebuild, despite the Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler asking for a trade and listing them among his preferred destinations. And it seems they're being true to their word.
New York has not reached out to the Timberwolves at any point about interest in trading for Butler, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who says a trade of Butler to the Heat recently fell apart after Minnesota tried to re-work the deal at the last minute.
After listing the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets as his three preferred landing spots, Butler had reportedly made the Heat his top trade destination.
Regardless of where Butler ends up, the Knicks have been clear all along that they're not interested.
"We're not going to take shortcuts," team president Steve Mills said in October at a town hall. "We're not going to trade our draft picks. Really, we believe New Yorkers will live with a plan and buy into a plan as long as we articulate it and we live it. I've seen when there's something shiny that says 'OK, let's change direction right now because we can go get this guy.' We're not going to do that. We're going to lay out and stick to that."
Shortly after the town hall where the above comments were made, Mills and GM Scott Perry were asked again and had the same "stick with the plan" response.
Butler, 29, is an $18.6 million cap hit to whatever team he lands on if he is traded. And if he doesn't sign long-term where he winds up (if he is even traded), he will be a free agent after the season.
Barring a big move between now and then, the Knicks will have the cap space to sign one max player during the offseason, and may have the cap space to sign two.
Kyrie Irving, who was reportedly one of the Knicks' top free agent targets, recently said he plans to re-sign with the Celtics. But there should still be plenty of marquee free agents for the Knicks and other teams to court.
Along with Butler, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leoanrd, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kemba Walker could be among the free agents available.