Zillgitt notes that Butler’s main goal is to compete sooner than later, and joining a Knicks team in rebuild mode does not accomplish that. Butler’s list also includes the Nets and Clippers, but more teams have since been reported as possible destinations. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pistons, Rockets, Heat, Sixers and Trail Blazers also have interest. Also, the Cavaliers have entered the sweepstakes.
Knicks brass has been adamant that the organization will not deviate from its plan to not trade young players and draft picks. Acquiring Butler, a 29-year-old All-Star, would require both.
Check out more Atlantic Division notes:
- Celtics star Gordon Hayward is expected to sign a multi-year sneaker deal, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Hayward, who missed nearly all of last season after a freak ankle injury, Hayward has reportedly been pursued by several major companies, including Nike, New Balance and the Chinese company Anta.
- Sixers guard Markelle Fultz has worked hard on improving his jump shot and is ready to make an impact this season, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (subscription required). “This summer was really just me working to get my mechanics back, my confidence back, my swagger back,” Fultz said.
- The Raptors signed Fred VanVleet quickly after free agency opened this summer, keeping a vital part of Toronto’s bench. Blake Murphy of The Athletic (subscription required) examines the process and VanVleet’s new contract.