Kyrie Irving reportedly wants out of Cleveland and away from LeBron James, and the Minnesota Timberwolves just happen to have a player Irving wants to play with. Jimmy Butler and the T-Wolves are apparently trying to take advantage of this, as ESPN reported that Minnesota’s best players are actively trying to get Irving interested in a move to the land of 10,000 lakes.
The franchise reportedly hopes some of its ties to Irving through USA basketball are enough to make the Timberwolves an attractive destination as the star guard enters his post-LeBron era.
League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.
Butler himself was in a weird position this offseason, initially not wanting to be traded before he was dealt to the Timberwolves shortly before the NBA Draft. Now he’s reportedly taking an active role in getting Irving to come to Minnesota with him.
It was reported that Irving wanted to play in Chicago before Butler was moved, so it would certainly be a bitter pill for Bulls fans to swallow if the two ended up playing together in Minnesota. One part of the report to note is that we shouldn’t expect a deal with the Timberwolves to go down anytime soon.
A Minnesota-Cleveland swap would almost assuredly involve Jeff Teague, who cannot be traded until Dec. 15, per league rules, after signing a free-agent contract with the Wolves this summer.
So don’t hold your breath if you think Kyrie will be passing to Butler and KAT anytime soon. And considering the Knicks are apparently in “serious talks” about a trade, the Timberwolves might miss out on Irving altogether.