MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CBS Sports) — Jimmy Butler’s days with the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be numbered.
According to a report from The Athletic, Butler met with Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau earlier this week to talk about the direction the team is heading. Reports indicate Butler has requested to be traded, and there are up to three teams where he would potentially sign a maximum contract extension.
Thibodeau, who also coached Butler for four years with the Chicago Bulls, has been “resistant” to exploring Butler trades, according to Krawczynski and Charania. His front office traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen for Butler and the rights to Justin Patton on the day of the 2017 NBA Draft. Moving Butler now would almost certainly set the franchise back, at least in the short term.
According to an ESPN report, Butler has requested to be traded to either the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks.
Butler, 29, will be a free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in Minnesota last season, leading them to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Wolves will hold their annual media day on Monday, and that should be a lot of fun for everybody.
Butler also turned down a contract extension offered by the Timberwolves earlier this offseason, knowing he could wait another season, become a free agent and sign a bigger contract.
He helped lead the Timberwolves to the NBA Playoffs last year for the first time in 13 seasons, despite missing significant time with a torn meniscus.