The Jimmy Butler era in Minnesota looks like it will last all of one season after the four-time All-Star requested a trade from the Timberwolves.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Wednesday, saying Butler informed the team of his desire to leave during a meeting Tuesday night.
The meeting was held at Butler’s offseason home in Los Angeles, and he made it clear that there are only three teams in two cities he wants to be traded to: 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
Butler will be a free agent after next season, and the writing was on the wall when he turned down the Timberwolves’ four-year, $110 million extension in June.
There have been many reports about Butler’s unhappiness in Minnesota and specifically as it relates to some of his younger teammates.
Sporting News said Butler wasn’t thrilled playing alongside Andrew Wiggins because of his lack of work ethic and approach on the defensive end of the court.
Butler also thought that Karl-Anthony Towns was too nonchalant on the court to be a great player, per the Chicago Sun-Times.
While the Knicks are one of the three teams listed on Butler’s list, New York’s president of basketball operations, Steve Mills, has said he won’t mortgage the team’s future for impending free agents.
Worth noting on Jimmy Butler: Knicks president Steve Mills said at a fan event on Monday that the Knicks will not trade assets for players that they feel they can sign in free agency: https://t.co/QVqQ23vVxQ
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 19, 2018
Butler was acquired by Minnesota during the 2017 NBA draft in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall pick, which turned out to be Lauri Markkanen.
With Butler, Towns and Wiggins, the Timberwolves won 47 games and made the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons.
Butler has not publicly commented on the reported trade request, other than a cryptic Instagram post around the same time news of the trade request broke.
Butler has made four All-Defensive teams and is one of 11 players to be an All-Star in each of the past four seasons.
He also won the 2015 Most Improved Player award. His production has greatly exceeded his draft slot, as the Chicago Bulls selected him with the final pick of the 2011 NBA draft’s first round.
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