Grade the trade pitch: Lakers send lofty package to snag Jimmy Butler in mock deal

Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Jimmy Butler added even more intrigue to what is an offseason of uncertainty for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Butler added fuel to the fire while the Lakers try to figure out who the team's next head coach will be and whether or not the team will draft Bronny James to keep LeBron James in town. Butler casually dropped the line that No. 22 looks good in purple and gold while watching Cameron Brink play for the Los Angeles Sparks, causing every NBA fan to fire up the trade machine.

The Lakers definitely would add a third star if the price was right and the Heat could look to move on from Butler before his value diminishes. The stars certainly could align for Butler to be traded to Los Angeles, and if he was, this is what a trade package would likely look like:

butler trade 2

To make the money work, the Lakers would have to trade Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and either Gabe Vincent or Jarred Vanderbilt. Los Angeles would likely prefer to keep the wing in Vanderbilt over the guard in Vincent and that should not be a deal-breaker.

Regardless, this is a big trade package for both sides. Some fans may love the idea of Butler regardless of the cost, while others may scoff at this package. Let's break down how the trade grades out for both parties.

Los Angeles Lakers grade for potential Jimmy Butler trade: D+

Yes, the Lakers are getting a superstar and playoff hero in Butler but this move would not be worth it. Los Angeles would be zapping most of its depth for an aging star that would restrict the team from doing much of anything to add to the team's depth.

This is a less extreme example of the Russell Westbrook trade. The Lakers would have a better chance of winning a title with Butler than the team did with Westbrook but there is still a lot of risk involved. Butler is going to be 35 years old next season and already isn't a beacon of consistency. Not everyone is going to age gracefully like LeBron.

If the Lakers could pull this trade off by including Vando and Jalen Hood-Schifino instead of Reaves then it would at least receive a passing grade. In that case, the Lakers would have a four-man core that could compete with any core in the league, highly increasing the chances of winning a title.

But with how the Heat operate, it is safe to say that the team would want at least one player that Pat Riley can be excited about. The only option the Lakers have to offer is Reaves. Miami likely isn't taking a package filled with just bench pieces and picks.

Miami Heat grade for potential Jimmy Butler trade: C-

The Lakers are getting a bad grade so the Heat have to be getting a good grade, right? Well, not necessarily.

While this is a passing grade as it is theoretically enough to trade Butler, it still is not the most exciting for the Heat. Miami still has Bam Adebayo in his prime and a fun supporting cast around him. The Heat are not trying to hit the reset button and would probably look to add a similar-caliber star if the team is trading Butler.

Miami's best-case scenario would be flipping Butler to a team that has its own star in a not-so-favorable situation. If Atlanta re-opens trade talks for Dejounte Murray then that is a trade that could make a lot of sense for both parties.

Reaves is great and can be the third-best player on a title-contending team, but he is not going to be the second-best player. That is what the Heat need. This is simply a case of a trade not really making much sense for either party, regardless of how good the No. 22 looks in purple and gold.