KqWIN wrote:Who knows if we would have actually been able to pull it off, but it's a big what if IMO. If we had Butler, I think we're actually a title contender or extremely close to it. That guy is a killer. This is right there with choosing George Hill over Jrue Holiday (which was more forgivable given that Hill worked out too well).
Hell, if we could have just gotten CP3 or Shroeder instead of Conley we'd have been in a much better spot.
Yes, Butler would have been the perfect fit, but I can see why the Jazz likely never seriously pursued him. The first time Butler was available was in fall '2018. He was on an expiring contract, sitting out games and demanding a trade from the Timberwolves. He named three teams he wanted to be traded to --- the Knicks, the Nets and the Clippers, all of which were in big markets. So in addition to looking like he was he a difficult personality to keep happy, it looked like he really wanted to play in a big market.
The next time he was available was summer 2019 as a free agent. And though Butler and Philly had just taken Toronto to seven games and the last basket before losing the playoff round, Kawhi Leonard, who I assume was mostly guarded by Butler, averaged 35 ppg on 53% shooting, along with 9.9 rebs and 4 assists during that series, well above Kawhi's regular season averages. So it kind of looked like Butler was not a championship difference maker.
Finally, I doubt we could have beat out Miami in a battle for free agent Butler. Miami had the advantages of championship pedigree, big attractive market and no state income tax.
Kudos to Spoelstra and Riley for the great job they did rebuilding the Heat.