The Jimmy Butler trade saga consumed the preseason, but he won’t be the only player who gets moved during the 2018-19 NBA season.
Barring an unexpected surprise, Jimmy Butler will begin the 2018-19 NBA season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Barring an even more unexpected surprise, he will not end the 2018-19 NBA season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
When Butler requested a trade days before training camp began, the ensuing drama roiled the NBA. From a practice appearance that can only be defined as legendary to a sitdown interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in which he aired many of his grievances with the team, it appears as though Butler’s time with the T-Wolves is rapidly drawing to an end.
Butler won’t be the only player traded during the 2018-19 NBA season, though. If past years are any indication, we’re in for yet another salvo of activity leading up to the league’s trade deadline in early February.
Trades often fall into a few notable camps: disgruntled stars who want out of their current setting, playoff contenders looking for reinforcements and lottery-bound squads who hope to accumulate assets for veterans they no longer need. Last season, for instance, the going-nowhere Chicago Bulls flipped Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire an additional 2018 first-round pick. The Cleveland Cavaliers, meanwhile, took a stick of dynamite to their team to clear out a noxious locker room environment.
The following 10 players all figure to hear their names in trade rumors leading up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline, as many of them fit the mold of veteran-on-a-rebuilding-squad or contract-year free-agent flight risk. Asset accumulation will be paramount for each of their respective teams if (when) they fall out of the playoff race, making them potential collateral damage.