Butler may not attend training camp if he isn't traded

Annette Crawford
September 22, 2018

The Wolves made the playoffs last season after a 13-year absence and Thibodeau knows a step backward in 2018-19, something that nearly certainly will happen without Butler, likely will cost him his job.

While the Timberwolves' front office said they intend to keep Jimmy Butler on Friday, the team's owner, Glen Taylor, has taken another stance. If Thibodeau is destined to get fired at season's end, those familiar with this thinking say he'd rather do so reaching the playoffs for a second consecutive year with the benefit of Butler on the roster. While the Timberwolves reportedly don't want to trade Butler, the Marquette product will be a free agent next offseason and it doesn't sound like he wants to make the Twin Cities his long-term home. Butler informed Thibodeau that he wanted to be traded on Tuesday, a request that the coach and president of basketball operations has firmly opposed.

Butler, 29, prefers a trade to the LA Clippers and has a strong interest with the New York Knicks as well as an interest with the Brooklyn Nets, league sources said. This seems to indicate that Butler will force Taylor's hand and trade him prior to the season starting.

Most teams interested in Butler would like to maximize their cap space for 2019 and will balk at taking back Dieng.

Even if the Lakers were willing to include Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in a trade, it would have to be a pretty complex trade likely involving three teams.

Butler has two years remaining on the five-year, $92 million deal he signed with the Bulls in 2015.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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