It appears the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jimmy Butler might be destined for divorce earlier than most predicted.
The Wolves and their star player apparently have reached a breaking point, as Butler has requested a trade from Minnesota, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday.
According to the report, Butler — who will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season — gave Minnesota a list of one to three teams with which he’s open to signing a contract extension.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was able to uncover those three teams:
T-Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau wanted to avoid trading Butler, according to the report, especially after giving up Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn while also swapping first-round picks to wrest Butler from the Chicago Bulls just over a year ago.
Butler’s extremely limited list of preferences won’t help the Wolves’ case, either. It’s hard to develop much of a market if only a few teams would be involved. And if it’s out there Butler would only sign with one to three teams, those other twenty-something teams aren’t inclined to give up much in order to acquire a player with no inclination to re-sign.
Then again, that similar scenario worked out pretty well for the Oklahoma City Thunder with Paul George, and also didn’t stop the Toronto Raptors from trading for Kawhi Leonard.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images