Jimmy Butler‘s trade request was made public just two days after Knicks president of basketball operations Steve Mills spoke to fans about building the roster “the right way” and hanging onto the team’s future first-round picks. Since Butler’s initial short list of preferred destinations included the Knicks, there was some initial uncertainty about whether Mills would stick to his public stance or whether the club would get involved in the Butler sweepstakes.
Nearly three weeks later, we appear to have our answer. Within his latest report on the Butler saga, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote that the Knicks “never called” the Timberwolves about the All-Star swingman. Reports have suggested that upwards of 25 teams have at least inquired on Butler, so the fact that the Knicks never even made a call is a clear indication that they’re sticking to their guns on building the team “the right way.”
Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:
- As Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina vie for the Knicks‘ starting point guard job, no player has separated himself from his competition during the preseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. As a result, head coach David Fizdale has yet to finalize any lineup decisions. “What ends up coming out of it is what fits the best,” Fizdale said. “All these guys are competing and nobody is flying out in front. Ultimately the final decider may be what combinations work the best.”
- Enes Kanter is just 26 years old and has only played in New York for a single season, but the big man is already something of an “elder statesman” in the Knicks‘ locker room, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, who explores Kanter’s role as a leader.
- The Nets‘ odds of landing Kyrie Irving and/or Jimmy Butler in 2019 free agency appear to be dwindling significantly, prompting Brian Lewis of The New York Post to explore the team’s potential Plan B.
- In an interesting piece, NetsDaily outlines the impact that a corporate decision by Spanish club Barcelona had on a pair of Nets draftees.