All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler is reportedly seeking a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski, Butler has given the Timberwolves a list of one to three teams with which he is open to signing a contract extension. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers, New York Knicks are on Butler’s list of preferred trade destinations, with the Clippers looming as his favorite landing spot. Minnesota currently has no interest in trading him, Wojnarowski reports.
Butler told Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations and coach, that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.
The Star Tribune‘s Chris Hine reports that Wolves owner Glen Taylor would not comment on Butler’s trade request when reached on Wednesday. Additionally, Hine reports that neither Butler’s agent Bernie Lee nor Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau were available for comment on the topic, either.
Butler holds a player option on his contract next season, but it is widely expected he will opt out and join a 2019 free-agent market that many expect to be robust. In addition, Minnesota’s All-Star big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, is in the final year of his contract. Towns can sign a contract extension by Oct. 15 or else, he, too, could enter the free-agent pool next summer.
UPDATE: Report: Timberwolves rebuffing Jimmy Butler trade calls
Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly had no interest in trading Jimmy Butler despite the star’s trade request. In fact, some believe Thibodeau would rather leave Minnesota than take a step back by dealing Butler.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“For now, however, Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau has no interest in trading Butler and wants to try and return to the playoffs with him in the lineup, league sources said.”
“Minnesota is resistant to immediately honor the trade request, especially given Thibodeau’s tenuous status with owner Glen Taylor, league sources said.”