Jimmy Butler’s time with the Minnesota Timberwolves might be coming to an end sooner than anyone anticipated. Butler sat down with the Timberwolves’ brass on Tuesday, and in the aftermath of that meeting (which included head coach Tom Thibodeau), the All-Star wing has reportedly request for a trade from the organization.
The news of Butler’s trade request comes via Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Both Charania and Krawczynski reported that Butler didn’t just request a trade, he brought forth a list of 1-3 teams to which he’d like to be traded.
Charania also report that Butler did indeed request this trade during his meeting with the Timberwolves.
As for whether or not this can happen, Krawczynski brings word that Thibodeau isn’t exactly keen on the idea of getting ride of Butler as training camp begins in less than a week.
There had been rumblings of discontent in Minnesota that centered around Butler’s relationship with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins for some time. The timing of this could not be much worse for the Timberwolves, both because of the aforementioned events on their calendar and because the team has been trying to hammer out an extension with Towns that will keep him with the franchise after his rookie contract is up following the 2019-20 campaign.
Butler is slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so Minnesota always risked losing him once July 1, 2019 rolled around. However, if Butler has his way, the timetable on his departure from the Timberwolves will happen much sooner than that.
UPDATE: While the reasons behind Butler’s trade request are still kind of vague, there is some more insight into his thinking. According to Krawczynski, this isn’t happening due to discontent with any of his teammates. Instead, Butler wants to leave because of “contractual matters.”
Logic would dictate that Butler wants a max extension and Minnesota isn’t willing to go quite that far. But that’s purely speculation, and as is always the case with trade requests, the truth will come out eventually.