With training camp nearing, Jimmy Butler met with Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau in Los Angeles to discuss his future.
As Butler is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, there have been reported conflicts between him and the team’s rising stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
While it did not make financial sense for Butler to sign a contract extension this season, he has now reportedly asked for a trade after just one season in Minnesota.
Despite the request, Thibodeau is currently unwilling to trade the 29-year-old, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
For now, however, Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau has no interest in trading Butler and wants to try and return to the playoffs with him in the lineup, league sources said.
For Thibodeau, it is understandable why he does not want to trade Butler. After coaching Butler for four seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Thibodeau traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen for him as the Timberwolves made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.
As for the Lakers, they will be players once again in 2019 free agency with $38 million in cap space. However, they were not among the three teams he listed as potential trade destinations. It’s believed Butler would sign an extension with those teams.