Jimmy Butler can’t make up his mind.
Jimmy Butler has told the Minnesota Timberwolves that he desires a trade to the Miami Heat. According to the New York Times, “Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have informed Wolves ownership that Miami is Butler’s preferred trade destination, league sources say.”
He had previously said that the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers were at the top of his list.
This situation looks bad on both sides. The Wolves are unlikely to get back anything close to Butler’s value, especially if they are forced to deal with one of the teams that the forward has said he’ll sign an extension with.
None of the original three teams on his list have a star player to give Minnesota in return. And the Heat don’t have the cap space to re-sign him to a maximum contract next summer at the moment, although he does have a player option that could keep him there through 2020. The benefit for the Wolves is that Miami has a much deeper roster than the Clippers, Nets or Knicks.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau is probably Butler’s biggest fan in the world and has coached him on two different teams. He isn’t inclined to trade the forward who helped Minnesota make the playoffs for the first time since 2004, and it’s hard to blame him. But Butler has made it clear that he doesn’t want to play with Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins anymore, and Wolves owner Glen Taylor wants Jimmy gone as soon as possible.
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season, and he could take Miami from being a fringe playoff team to a contender. The real question is this: will Jimmy change his mind again before the Wolves get a deal done?