All that changed on Wednesday, when Jimmy Butler reportedly requested a trade out of Minnesota. The team is still hoping to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. My assumption is that the Timberwolves decide to hold on to Jimmy for the first 20-30 games and let teams feel out Butler’s health and see if they can give up more for the 4-time All-Star. The team is reportedly looking to part ways with Noah before training camp opens next week, either through a trade or buyout. With that being said, it would be interesting to pair Russell with his longtime friend Karl-Anthony Towns. Technically, Butler is now signed through the 2019-20 season, but he has a player option for that final year and will nearly certainly opt out of the deal. Towns and Wiggins are great players and at this point better than Butler.
This makes sense considering what we’ve heard about Leonard and his team desires recently. Meanwhile, the Cavs have a host of young players that could be contribute to the long term success of the Timberwolves.
While it would work out better for him financially to get traded, (his bird rights would transfer, leading to a larger contract), the Clippers could still sign him outright to a max deal without losing any assets.
Butler’s unhappiness is just the latest issue to befall Minnesota over the past few months. That’ll eventually lead to Butler being asked why he waited until the final days of the offseason to inform the team of his unhappiness, because not only did he potentially limit Minnesota’s options but he could have limited his own. He doesn’t last on teams, teammates don’t like him, etc.
So despite his request for a trade, it seems likely Butler will remain in Minnesota – and likely will for some time to come.
Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler is most determined to find a way to the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN.
As I alluded to earlier, the Cavs could also acquire Towns in this scenario, if there’s truly a stand-off between he and Butler.
Taking on one of their less desirable contracts, like center Gorgui Dieng (he’ll earn $48.5 million over the next three seasons), could be enticing enough for the Wolves to bite.