The are two major problems with the Dallas Mavericks trading for Jimmy Butler.
And neither of them are named Harrison Barnes.
Dallas and owner Mark Cuban would almost certainly have to trade one of Barnes or up-and-comer Dennis Smith Jr. to beat any offers by the other two reported suitors: the Houston Rockets and the Miami Heat.
Let’s set aside which of those players the team would be better off losing and focus on the larger problems.
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First, Butler’s contract is up after this season. The Mavericks will have the cap space to sign Butler to a max contract extension next summer, per Spotrac.com.
But there’s no guarantee he will return to Dallas once he hits the open market.
The second reason is a compounded one.
Butler will turn 30 before the start of next season. And even if Kevin Durant does not re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, it’s hard to imagine the Mavericks being a legitimate challenger in two or three years.
Even if Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic enter their primes by then, Butler will be 32 or 33 and likely past his.
Last but certainly not least, Butler comes with an attitude. That attitude led to him forcing a trade from the Chicago Bulls.
He’s almost assuredly forced a trade out of Minnesota, too, thanks in large part to a very public meltdown in a preseason practice.
If Butler doesn’t like the way things are going or clashes with head coach Rick Carlisle (Carlisle’s done it with star players before), who’s to say he doesn’t force another trade?