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The Sacramento Kings are apparently trying to help the Minnesota Timberwolves, and themselves, by potentially acting as a facilitator in a Jimmy Butler trade.
According to ESPN, the Kings will likely be needed if Butler is to be moved.
“If the Timberwolves remain intent on unloading backup center Gorgui Dieng and the three years and $48 million left on his contract, they’ll need the Kings,” ESPN reported. “No one in the NBA comes close to the $11 million in salary-cap space that the Kings possess to absorb a contract, as well as the several expiring contracts — including Zach Randolph ($11.6 million), Iman Shumpert ($11 million) and Kosta Koufos ($8.7 million) — to move onto a team that prefers to clear cap space in July.”
Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves last week. He skipped media day Monday and will not attend training camp as he waits for the team to find a deal.
A number of teams have been listed as potential suitors for Butler, with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers said to be among the most aggressive. The Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers have also been mentioned as possibilities — as have the Detroit Pistons, who dream of somehow teaming Butler with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.
But the Kings may be the kings in determining where Butler actually ends up next.
“In recent days, Sacramento has been aggressive in courting Minnesota and several of Butler’s trade suitors — offering to use its space as a landing spot for bloated contracts,” ESPN reported. “The Kings are without their first-round draft pick in 2019, and uniquely positioned to leverage that cap space into, at a minimum, a future first-round pick and maybe more as part of a Butler blockbuster.”