Jimmy Butler Reportedly Wants Timberwolves to Trade Him

On Tuesday, Jimmy Butler reportedly informed coach Tom Thibodeau he wants to be traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jimmy Butler

Image via Getty/Tim Warner

Jimmy Butler

Timberwolves wing Jimmy Butler has requested a trade after meeting with coach Tom Thibodeau in Los Angeles on Tuesday, reports the Athletic's Shams Charania and Jon Krawcyznski.

Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. Butler has given Minnesota a list of one-to-three teams with whom he's open to signing extension, in anticipation of trade.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2018

Thibodeau has been reluctant to deal his star with the start of the season right around the corner, but it appears that will have to change.

Tom Thibodeau has been resistant to the idea of trading Butler, we're told. With media day on Monday and training camp set to being on Tuesday, the clock is ticking.

— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 19, 2018

Less than one week before Timberwolves' training camp begins. After weeks of contemplating future in Minnesota, Butler informed Tom Thibodeau on Tuesday, sources said. https://t.co/0n882h9l1t

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2018

Wolves, obviously, can try and convince @JimmyButler to stay. But here’s what he told me in February: "I mean, in the most humble way possible, if they don’t take care of me this summer, I think the summer after that, I’m’a end up playing somewhere." The "else" was left unsaid.

— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) September 19, 2018

Butler was originally supposed to have met with Thibodeau in Minnesota on Monday, but he sent a tweet refuting that timing, and they met on Tuesday in L.A.

exactly why people need to stop believing what you see on the internet.. I didn’t have no damn meeting today... its tomorrow.. i wonder what else people write and people believe hmmm...

— Jimmy Butler (@JimmyButler) September 18, 2018

Tuesday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on the radio, "The main crux of the issue is between Karl-Anthony Towns and Butler. It was there last season and it was not addressed this summer."

This afternoon, @wojespn dropped by #TimAndSid to give @tim_micallef and @Sid_Seixeiro the latest info on the drama surrounding Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves. pic.twitter.com/EnPYF2K9mT

— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) September 18, 2018

Woj reports that the three teams where Butler would sign a max extension are the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks:

Minnesota's Jimmy Butler has three preferred destinations for a trade, league sources tell ESPN: The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks. Those three teams have max cap space to sign Butler as a free agent in July.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2018

Charania adds that Butler is "optimistic" about a trade to one of those teams:

Our own @ShamsCharania gives us the latest on Jimmy Butler requesting a trade from the #Timberwolves. pic.twitter.com/VfqsAOIfjh

— Stadium (@Stadium) September 19, 2018

Towns hasn't signed his own max extension yet, allegedly because he was waiting for Butler to meet with the team first. And he's already shot down the rumor his girlfriend stepped out on him with Butler.

😂😂😂 #FakeNews

— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 20, 2018

In a report earlier this week,  Charania and Krawcyznski confirmed that rumored chemistry issues and tension surrounding Towns, coach Thibs, Andrew Wiggins, and Butler were possibly "coming to a head" and the team would eventually reach a "fork in the road."

But an updated report from Krawcyznski on Thursday appears to throw water on the idea of internal strife leading to the trade demand. Instead, it was over Minnesota's failure to renegotiate and extend his contract so he could make a higher figure—$30 million—starting in 2018-19:

There were reports of friction between Butler, Towns and Wiggins, but sources say that is not the main reason Butler has decided to move on. Butler was hoping for a renegotiation and extension of his contract this summer, one that would have raised his salary for 2018-19 to $30 million and added another four years and $145 million on to that. But the Timberwolves would have had to cut an enormous amount of salary to pull that off and deemed it unreasonable if they wanted to stay competitive in the near term.

Now the Timberwovles brain trust must deal their disgruntled star less than a week before training camp begins, or risk a malevolent force in the locker room possibly submarining the max extension Towns was going to sign. 

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