Brian Lewis and Greg Logan both quote sources Thursday that a Nets deal for Jimmy Butler is neither “imminent or even likely” and in fact the Nets are “not engaged” in trade talks with Minnesota for the four-time All-Star. This follows a report from Adrian Wojnarowski Wednesday that talks between the Nets and Timberwolves have gained “no traction.”
Lewis wrote as well that Brooklyn is “not in active talks” while Logan stated, “It’s not happening. An NBA source told Newsday the Nets are not pursuing Butler,”
Sources: Miami has been the most engaged team with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade. So far, no traction with Clippers and Nets. Houston’s tried to be creative in its pursuit. It’ll be a challenge — although not impossible — to get any Butler deal done without a third team.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 26, 2018
One big reason cited by Lewis and Logan is that the Nets are increasingly happy with their own wings, particularly Caris LeVert, the 6’7” wing who has wowed everyone in camp according to various teammates and Coach Kenny Atkinson.
“First two days of training camp, he’s been fantastic, quite honestly. I’m going to call it like it is,” Atkinson said of LeVert.
Lewis reports the team is happy with their own wings … all of whom have been mentioned in various iterations of Butler trade speculation.
Caris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll and Allen Crabbe — all of whom have been linked with Butler in trade rumors — stand to play major minutes for Brooklyn, as does Joe Harris. And with the Nets not in active talks over Butler, all four could be with the team for a while.
LeVert, of course, is the prize as virtually every pundit has written. Minnesota has made overtures about LeVert in the past. He said all the speculation doesn’t faze him.
“I don’t really get into that type of stuff too much,” LeVert said Wednesday. “Obviously as a player, it’s good to feel wanted, and it’s good for other people to acknowledge what you’ve been doing on the court. But, like I said, I don’t get into that too much. I love it here in Brooklyn, and I want to play here a long time.”
Atkinson also held out the possibility of LeVert starting, “We’ll see. Too early to make that call yet. I think he’s made a jump physically, and he’s starting to understand the change of pace needed to play. Him and Rondae [Hollis-Jefferson] are our two most active defenders.”
Speculation about a Butler trade began last week when Woj and others reported that Butler had told Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau that he wanted out and named three teams he preferred as a destination, the Nets, Knicks and Clippers. The Knicks have expressed no interest either.