It all started when Jimmy Butler had a meeting with Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and formally requested that he be traded to another team. The former Bull gave the Timberwolves a list of three teams he's willing to sign an extension with if traded: the Nets, Clippers and Knicks.
"Story filed to ESPN: Rival executives lobbing calls to Minnesota's front office on possibility of trading for Jimmy Butler are getting inquires shut down".
With Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love, those situations weren't quite as messy as they are today with Butler. In other words, they are determined to lose him for absolutely nothing.
Butler had once imagined playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, but LeBron James' arrival as the franchise's cornerstone made it less appealing for Butler in the prime of his career, league sources said. He managed to sustain his All-Star status, making it hard for the Timberwolves to acquire any player as good as him in a trade.
Jimmy Butler Reportedly Requests Trade From Minnesota Timberwolves
He informed Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau of the request during a meeting Tuesday in Los Angeles, sources said. Just when it seemed things had stabilized with the Minnesota Timberwolves, turbulence appears to be rearing its head again.
In his opening remarks, Butler thanked Thibodeau, who had just finished an underwhelming first season in Minnesota. The addition of a gritty All-Star was supposed to help groom the team's young core of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. None of those apply for Butler's current team.
Thibodeau traded recent first-round picks - including Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the No. 7 overall pick that became Lauri Markkanen - in a 2017 deal with the Chicago Bulls to acquire Butler. The NBA has steadily moved away from the "emperor coach" model of having one man overseeing all aspects of the organization in recent years, and only two - Thibodeau and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio - remain in the league.
"For now, they are very unwilling [to trade Butler]".
Bearing all this in mind, which teams could present a tempting trade offer for the Timberwolves while also standing a chance of re-signing him in free agency?