The Los Angeles Lakers received the second-most votes (21.2 percent) to sign Jimmy Butler in 2019 free agency, according to the ESPN Forecast panel.
The New York Knicks received 42.4 percent, while Butler re-signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves garnered just 12.1 percent of voting.
The Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks all received three percent of the votes.
Following his first season with the Timberwolves and reuniting with head coach Tom Thibodeau, there was a reported conflict between Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins. Since then, the 28-year-old has been linked with the Knicks as it’s believed he and Kyrie Irving could team up.
As for he Lakers being Butler’s second potential destination, this is not a surprising development. Throughout his career, the four-time All-Star has been linked to Los Angeles and a partnership is possible this time around since he will not be a restricted free agent.
With LeBron James and a talented young core, the Lakers have preserved cap space for another max-contract player by filling out the roster with one-year deals. While the focus is on the 2018-19 NBA season, signing another All-Star player to legitimately compete in the short- and long-term is an exciting prospect.
As the Lakers received the most votes to sign Kawhi Leonard from the ESPN Forecast panel, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are also names that will be linked to the storied franchise in 2019 free agency.