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Jimmy Butler Odds: Is He On The Move Before Opening Tip?

Jimmy Butler warming up with the Minnesota Timberwolves
Could Jimmy Butler be moved before the opening tip of the 2018-19 NBA season? (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
  • Where will Jimmy Butler play this season?
  • Timberwolves in limbo after Butler rejects extension
  • Finding the right team fit for the All-Star wing

Did Jimmy Butler reject Minnesota’s four-year, $110 million extension because next season is more fiscally fruitful for him, where he can ink a deal for upwards of $188 million (with Minnesota)?

Or

Did Jimmy Butler reject Minnesota’s extension because he wants to be a free agent and go to a better team where he can compete for an NBA title (with a contract of upwards of $140 million)?

This is one that Minnesota is going to have to figure out, and in a hurry.

An offseason that should have been filled with promise and optimism after the Timberwolves returned to the postseason for the first time in 14 years has been anything but.

On top of the extension-rejection, it turns out the driven Butler couldn’t motivate his rising star teammates, and that didn’t sit well with him.

While those stories were making the rounds, another one picked up some serious steam, and basketball in Gotham was downright giddy.

I mean, that would be one of the meanest back courts in basketball – with two of the softest voices as well.

In all seriousness, it brings up a very interesting topic of discussion.

Who Will Jimmy Butler Play for in the 1st Regular Season Game of 2018-19?

Team Odds at BetOnline
Minnesota Timberwolves -150
New York Knicks  +450
New Jersey Nets +700
 Philadelphia 76ers +1000
 Denver Nuggets +1000
Indiana Pacers +1200
Los Angeles Clippers +1200
Los Angeles Lakers +1200
San Antonio Spurs +1200
Boston Celtics +1600
Chicago Bulls +2000
Golden State Warriors +2500

As a bettor, you have to believe that Butler will be draped in those sharp new T-Wolves unis on opening night, if only for the fact that, if the team can find some common ground – you know, like Andrew Wiggins not sulking and Karl-Anthony Towns trying hard every night – this team can actually be competitive in the West.

On paper, they are one of the top-heavy talented teams in the conference. And we all know you need star power to make moves in the playoffs.

But this is a fluid situation, and if the ‘Wolves do in fact fear that Jimmy Buckets will not return, then that’s a whole lot of lint in the pockets to show for dealing Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.

If you do believe the potential union of Irving and Butler in New York (or Brooklyn or Orlando) next year, then teams will be making the move for the four-time All-Star with the suddenly en vogue and chic one-year rental plan. We’ll call it the PaulLeonard.

If you’re looking at win-now situations, then the Celtics (+1600) and 76ers (+1200) are where you might put down some of your hard earned capital. They have the draft assets and young players available without having to hand over much of substance.

If you do believe the potential union of Irving and Butler next year, then teams will be making the move for the four-time all-star with the suddenly en vogue and chic one-year rental plan

Now, do the Lakers (+1200) make sense? Only if they’re willing to part with one of their core youngsters. If Minnesota would bite on an offer for Lonzo Ball, then let’s just say this year’s Lakers are ready for prime time.

They aren’t on the list, but if you want to go full riverboat gambler, take an outside shot at the Toronto Raptors. The Dinos just landed Kawhi Leonard. While they’re all-in, why not add another mercenary for an even wilder season up North?

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Vancouver born and bred, Eric is a print and broadcast journalism graduate now based in TO. His current project involves getting his wife to join him on the couch this fall to watch football on Sundays from 1pm kickoff till the Sunday night game expires.