"Minnesota executives are telling teams that Butler's an elite player and that the franchise intends to keep him."
Earlier this week Jimmy Butler reportedly informed the Minnesota Timberwolves that he wanted to be traded. He even gave the team a list of preferred destinations including the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks - all three teams that have max cap space to sign Butler as a free agent in July, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Butler, 29, is entering the final year on his contract and can walk this summer as a free agent so it makes sense that the Wolves would trade him before the February trade deadline, instead of getting nothing in return. However, the team insists they intend to keep him.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports rival executives who have approached the organization about the possibility of trading for the four-time All-Star have had their inquiries rejected."In the aftermath of Butler's trade request this week, Minnesota executives are telling teams that Butler's an elite player and that the franchise intends to keep him, league sources said, according to Woj. Of course, this could also just be an attempt to drive up the asking price for a guy who clearly has no interest in signing an extension with Minnesota.
It has been reported that head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau isn't interested in partying ways with Butler, but Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor plans to be heavily involved in the decision-making process which means Thibs likely isn't going to get his way in the long run.
"Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has become fully engaged in the decision-making process on a potential Butler trade and is far more open to the idea of orchestrating a deal than president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, league sources said."
The Wolves acquired Butler in a trade with the Chicago Bulls just last June in a deal that appeared extremely lopsided in Minnesota's favor at the time. In exchange for the then three-time NBA All-Star, the Bulls received Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the #7 pick - Lauri Markkanen.
Butler only appeared in 59 games with the Wolves, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2 steals per game.