Jimmy Butler requests trade with three teams in mind
Along with missing media day, Butler is not expected to participate in at least the early portion of training camp, per The Athletic.
A first-round draft pick in 2011, Butler was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2014-15.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden were very reluctant to move Butler just days after he told the team that he wants to be done playing in Minnesota and wants to be traded to one of three teams.
Butler’s unhappiness is just the latest issue to befall Minnesota over the past few months.
To an extent, Butler’s stance is understandable.
A trade to the NY area is possible, but Knicks president Steve Mills recently said that the team is “not going to trade our draft picks. for a guy we can get on our own later”.
What’s often lost in the narrative behind Irving’s decision to ask out of Cleveland, was the fact that he had never had any team success without LeBron James.
Despite being touted as an elite defender and athlete in college at Kansas, Wiggins has regressed since Butler joined the Timberwolves. But if recent statements stand true, there may be reason to believe the Knicks won’t make the plunge and give up assets to bring the shooting guard to town. The 16-time National Basketball Association champions began the summer with hopes of landing LeBron and at least another All-Star, preferably in the shape of Kawhi Leonard or Paul George.
Such a move would also serve as a double blow for the Lakers, who not only targeted Leonard but Butler as well.
The Clippers notably have the cap space to sign two players to max contracts and the possibility of joining them along with another top star is something that entices Butler.
Taylor attended the Board of Governors meeting on Friday and – according to Wojnarowski – made his peers aware of plans to trade Butler as he doesn’t have the “stomach for a dysfunctional season”. The market for Butler will likely be the five-year, $190 million maximum extension that could come with a trade to a new team, which means a team would be committing $40 million-plus annually to Butler as he reaches his mid-30s. The Raptors are doing the same with Leonard and the Thunder showed with George last season that it is possible to convince a one-year rental to put down roots.