Anderson: Celtics Have Found New Rival, And His Name Is Jimmy Butler

Doug Mendoza
September 23, 2018

Butler reportedly prefers to be traded to the L.A. Clippers, but wouldn't mind a move to the New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets either.

"The Timberwolves have also been made aware that Jimmy Butler will not be available for on-court activities at the outset of training camp, sources tell The Athletic".

Whether or not a trade is consummated this weekend, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jimmy Butler will reportedly spare themselves the awkwardness of a public appearance. As much as the Lakers would surely love to pair LeBron James with a co-star, they couldn't trade for Butler without including Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram. He has not missed a game in three seasons and averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season as the Wolves ended a 13-year playoff drought.

It's a double-edged sword for the Minnesota front office. Jimmy Butler needs a mentality switch if he wants to truly fill the mold of a championship caliber leader.

Despite Butler's request, the Minnesota front office has shut down all inquiries toward Butler and is saying they intend to keep him. Those three teams have the salary-cap space to sign Butler outright this summer to a maximum contract extension.

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He brought Butler from the Chicago Bulls to the Timberwolves in a 2017 Draft Day trade in exchange for shooting guard Zach Lavine, forward Kris Dunn and draft rights to Lauri Markkanen.

In Minnesota, he had issues with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and just seems to be a negative influence on guys. Butler can sign a more lucrative contract next summer. In other words, they are determined to lose him for absolutely nothing. The trio of Russell, Wiggins and Towns would give the Timberwolves a very talented core of players all under the age of 24.

NBA teams will likely be lining up now to try to acquire Butler, who is one of the top two-way players in basketball.

Thibodeau was also hoping to sign Towns to a contract extension but the big man has refused thus far.

Other reports by GizPress

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