Can the Knicks pull off an improbable trade for Heat’s Jimmy Butler?

Jan 27, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) reacts after a basket against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s crunch time for the New York Knicks and the other 29 teams in the NBA. The trade deadline is hours away and a wealth of players are rumored to be on the go.

With several All-Star caliber talents on the Knicks’ list of targets, one franchise player is being propped up as a last-minute option for all of the marbles, or most of them at least.

Knicks give up Julius Randle, and four 1st-rounders in a packaged offer for Heat’s Jimmy Butler

A recent article from Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach concocted a trade for Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler in exchange for Julius Randle, Evan Fournier, and four future first-round picks, one of which being a pick swap. Rohrbach said this regarding his ideal proposal:

“There is a cliff ahead, and Miami might want to get off it before Butler picks up his $52.4 million player option on the 2025-26 season,” Rohrbach said of Butler’s advancing age.

“In the process, the Heat would get all they need to chase Miami’s next superstar — the unprotected rights to four straight first-round picks, plus Randle, who, need we remind you, is a two-time All-NBA performer.”

The idea heading into trade season was that the Knicks would move pieces on the proverbial chessboard to add a third star to the All-Star duo of Randle and Jalen Brunson. A player of Butler’s stock would realistically be unattainable under those conditions.

Though, Randle’s most recent dislocated shoulder injury and his up-and-down history of playoff performances do get trumped by an all-world two-way contributor in Jimmy Butler who not only delivers in the clutch but has led the Heat to two Finals appearances in the last four years.

Do the Knicks have any chance of making a deal for Butler happen?

As Rohrbach also mentioned Heat president Pat Riley is not likely to trade his franchise cornerstone unless he gets an absolute haul in return. Butler fits their identity to the nine. But, the four first-round picks give Riley a hard-to-refuse incentive alongside an All-NBA performer in Randle.

The Knicks have until 3 p.m. to get their hands on a final piece to their championship puzzle. The Knicks are also in the market for Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Malcolm Brogdon. It would be a bold move to push major chips to the center of the table in order to acquire Butler, but it wouldn’t come close to some of the most shocking deals done at the deadline.

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