This alternative is a derivative of the last one, with Kenneth Faried being used as the salary balancing player rather than DeMarre Carroll.
Minnesota is very thin at the 4, with only Taj Gibson and Anthony Tolliver on the depth chart, and coach Tom Thibodeau (provided he stays with the Timberwolves if Jimmy Butler is dealt) would love Faried — a high-energy guy who grinds on the glass and crashes the rim offensively.
Faried isn’t a great fit for the current era, but neither is Thibodeau’s offensive system, so it might be a marriage that works for both parties.
The presence of Karl-Anthony Towns allows Minnesota to have a stretch big on the floor, which would give Faried room to roam in the post, which is where he is at his most effective.
This deal also gives Minnesota a 2-guard to slot in Butler’s place in Caris LeVert, who was also the primary piece in our second scenario.
The trade machine at ESPN rates this deal as a 10-win improvement for the Nets and a 12-win decrease for the Timberwolves.
While there are reports Butler’s first choice is the Los Angeles Clippers, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brooklyn provides the same scenario (room for another max salary in free agency in order to add a second star player).
The New York Knicks, meanwhile, did not leap at the chance to potentially acquire Butler, with general manager Steve Mills saying Thursday at a pre-training camp press conference, via the New York Post, that his strategy has not changed.
"“We’re committed to not missing any steps. It’s a step-by-step process. We’re focused on guys we have on this roster. How we can build them, develop them and continue on from that point. “We’re committed to following the plan and not just shifting, pivoting because we see something that we think is attractive and might fast-track something. I’ve seen that happen and go wrong too many times and that’s not what we’re going to do. “Our plan is to not use our draft picks as assets like that.”"
That may be the deciding factor for the Nets in this process, as well, as general manager Sean Marks worked hard to hoard cap space for next season while clinging to those first-round picks that the Nets finally have back.
The last pick due to the Boston Celtics as part of the ill-fated Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce trade from 2013 conveyed in June, with the No. 8 overall selection conveyed to the Cleveland Cavaliers under the terms of a later deal between the Celtics and Cavs.
Will Jimmy Butler don the black-and-white this season? It’s hard to say it’s likely, since Minnesota is under zero obligation to give Butler what he wants if they do opt to trade him.
Still, it’s a great overall sign for the path the Nets have taken the last two years that a star player would even consider Brooklyn as a preferred landing spot.