September 26, 2018, 8:50 amJimmy ButlerG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jimmy Butler made a formal trade request last week only because Tom Thibodeau ignored the warning signs of discontent earlier in the summer.
After the Rockets eliminated the Wolves in the first round of the playoffs in May, Butler did not fly with the team back to Minnesota but he went to Los Angeles instead, refusing to do the standard medical exam all players got through as part of their exit interviews. He immediatley started conveying his concern for the franchise while casting doubts on his willingness to stay long-term. Butler even opened up to Thibodeau when the coach came to California to visit him after he had hand surgery but the front office didn’t even try to quietly explore the trade market for him. This sequence of events justifies the timing of the request and proves the stubbornness of Thibs. The Wolves are believed to be targeting a starting-caliber wing to take Butler’s place and another young player that could develop, in addition to draft pick compensation. Realistically though, it seems that they have lost their leverage and this is developing to be a situation harmful for all parties involved.
Source: The Athletic