The NBA never stops.
After meeting with head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau on Tuesday, Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler has requested a trade, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Butler’s relationship with the Wolves, including young star Karl-Anthony Towns has been under question for some time. After a disappointing offseason, Butler reportedly contemplated his future in Minnesota before informing Thibodeau of his future. He has reportedly compiled a short list of teams he would be open to re-signing with in 2019 when he is poised to hit free agency.
Butler was reported to be interested in joining the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency earlier this offseason. However, it’s not clear if the purple and gold are on his list.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, lists the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and LA Clippers as the three teams, however.
It’s worth mentioning that the semantics of a trade between the Lakers and Wolves would be difficult to accomplish. The Lakers have few large contracts and none of their recently signed free agents (e.g. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Rajono Rondo) are eligible to be traded until December. Caldwell-Pope, in particular, has a built-in no trade clause due to a CBA designation.
Of course a trade in the future is possible, giving LeBron James a sidekick in LA. But the Lakers were hesitant on giving up assets for Kawhi Leonard earlier this summer and it’s not clear how much the Wolves would demand from the former Minneapolis franchise.
According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Thibodeau “has been resistant” on trading Butler in the past. It’s not clear if that mindset will now change with an official trade request.