Jimmy Butler is ostensibly the centerpiece of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that might not last for too much longer. The superstar is meeting with the team to discuss his future, which could end after this season if he decides to opt out. Rather than losing him for nothing, the Wolves can pick and chose on how they want to build this franchise in his absence.
Here are five deals that make sense for all parties if it really becomes time for Jimmy Buckets to move.
5. Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum
This deal could work out in the same way the blockbuster Kawhi Leonard trade between the Raptors and the Spurs worked. The Trail Blazers have gone nowhere with the backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and should look to shake things up after one last ride. For the Timberwolves, they still get to compete for a playoff spot each and every year as they add a proven scorer to replace Butler.
4. Knicks: Frank Ntilikina, Courtney Lee, 1st Round Pick
The New York Knicks desperately want to get back to relevance. Unfortunately, they're not going to do so through the draft. Aside from Kristaps Porzingis, they haven't showed they can hit enough homers in the first round for them to build a contender. While keeping the Unicorn, they can finally give him a superstar partner to run with. Frank Ntilikina gives the Wolves a two-way guard of the future, and the first-round pick figures to be inside the lottery.
3. Celtics: Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris...
Minnesota is essentially in win-now mode, but this would be a move that may be better suited for a future run. Jaylen Brown has the chance to be something truly special for years to come, and Terry Rozier is an exciting young scorer who can handle the ball. Throwing in the Kings' first-rounder next season that the Celtics own will definitely help this deal get done. It's a large package for Boston to give up, but a lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford makes them a virtual lock to win the Eastern Conference.
2. 76ers: Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Zhaire Smith
The Sixers are so close to being the best team in the Eastern Conference. So, so close. They know they're one star away, which is why they went after Kawhi Leonard in the offseason. Butler is a similar player who can actually be acquired at the price they want. Covington and particularly Saric are solid players that could help keep the Timberwolves afloat for the next few seasons, and the addition of Zhaire Smith gives them another building block for the future.
1. Lakers: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart
Everyone knows the Lakers are going to be the ones trying their hardest to poach a superstar away from some unwilling team this season. They said they were going to land two stars this offseason, but fell one short outside of LeBron James. While they would be giving up a ton of youth here -- which makes this one the least likely of the bunch at the moment -- the Lakers have even more stashed away with Kyle Kuzma, and would be focusing on a win-now state of mind. In a few months, the Lakers can even include players under new contracts like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, or Lance Stephenson if they're not working out. This team has plenty of options and could give the Timberwolves a fresh blueprint for the upcoming years