Earlier this week, when a report emerged that Jimmy Butler was planning to meet with Timberwovles brass in what was described as a “last-ditch” effort to salvage their frayed relationship, it caught just about everyone off guard. Granted, the locker room turmoil between him and Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns wasn’t exactly a secret, but nobody would’ve guessed it had already deteriorated to the point that it was beyond repair.
But that was apparently the case as Butler went into that summit with coach/GM Tom Thibodeau and other executives and demanded a trade. The Timberwolves likely assumed that they had more time to mend relationships, given that Butler isn’t set to become a free agent until next summer.
Yet, a new report points to the possibility that Butler’s contract status was more of an overriding factor in his trade request than any lingering interpersonal drama, however real or imagined.