With 2019 NBA free agency only hours away now, the Los Angeles Lakers are focused on signing a potential third All-Star player alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
As all of the attention has been on Kawhi Leonard and rightfully so, Jimmy Butler is a potential option if the Lakers do not want to split up their $32 million in cap space.
While there may be concerns about Butler’s locker-room presence, he is still one of the best two-way players in the league and showed it during the 2019 NBA playoffs.
As a result, the Lakers reportedly are making a late push now, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
Jimmy Butler meets with Heat officials at 6:01 PM ET tonight but continues to draw interest from a number of suitors, league sources say, with the Lakers making the latest aggressive bid. Lakers officials, I'm told, are pushing for a pitch meeting with Butler
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 30, 2019
However, it appears Butler is currently focused on the Miami Heat, according to Tim Reynolds of Associated Press:
Not that this is a surprise – or means anything – but Jimmy Butler is expected to tell Miami officials tonight that he wishes to play for the Heat, per source.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 30, 2019
Leading up to free agency, the Lakers reportedly ‘rather split’ their cap space if they are unable to sign Leonard or Kyrie Irving. As Irving is expected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers reportedly are a ‘true threat’ to sign Leonard from the Toronto Raptors — and not the Los Angeles Clippers.
While the Lakers have been linked to Butler, it has been very apparent he is not their first or second choice. As for Butler, he is interested in signing with the Miami Heat, but it would have to be a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Although there have been heated debates about Butler, the Lakers would be better off signing 2-3 role players.