If being the man is what Butler is after, the Brooklyn Nets are the pick. Assuming he wouldn’t come with another superstar, the Nets would provide Butler just that along with a talent-filled roster. Butler saw the Nets up close this postseason and knows exactly how feisty, hungry, and on the rise they are. The issue with the Nets, however, is that it only puts Butler further away from winning his first championship. As good and improved as a Butler-led team would be, a title wouldn’t exactly be in the cards.
So, yeah, Butler doesn’t fit very well with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Part of that is because Embiid and Simmons don’t fit at all. But the question is, does it matter? Enough elite talent can outweigh how players fit and the 76ers surely have enough of it. Fit issues and all, the 76ers have as much talent as any team in the Eastern Conference. They lost to the Raptors in a Game 7 on the road due to a lucky bounce by a player who many believe is leaving the conference. Maybe his short time in Philadelphia was enough, but a significant amount of individual and team success is left to be captured alongside Embiid and Simmons.
It’s unclear if the Knicks would settle for Jimmy Butler. By now, we are all aware they have their sights set on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But if they only get one of them, Butler makes a whole lot of sense. He is friends with Irving and has a style that would mesh well with Durant’s. Butler is a player who shines the brightest when the lights are doing the same. There would be no shortage of big moments on the way in Madison Square Garden with Durant or Irving.
If Kawhi Leonard takes his talents to the Clippers, like the rumors say, Butler should not be far behind him. There were rumors back in September that both Leonard and Butler looked at the Clippers as their preferred destination. They already have a dangerous playoff team in the West. Adding two of the best two-way players in the NBA would insert them into the discussion amongst the top three teams in the league. If Butler can accept being the number two to Leonard, this decision shouldn’t take more than a few summer days to make. Unlike the other stars Butler has played with, Leonard’s game would actually result in him excelling as a Scottie Pippen-type.