Jimmy Butler could be the next NBA star to be traded. The Minnesota Timberwolves' All-Star guard is reportedly unhappy with his current situation and appears to be unlikely to re-sign with the franchise next summer, when he's set to become a free agent.
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Butler is "fed up" with some of his young teammates. He doesn't believe their attitudes reflect what's necessary to win in today's NBA, per the report.
As for Butler, a league source said that he also has no intentions of signing an extension with Minnesota, all but fed up with the nonchalant attitude of his younger teammates, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns.
Butler had said as much at the end of the season.
"I just don’t think there have been many people that have understood how important winning is to me, man," Butler told the Sun-Times in late April. "I just had a conversation about that very thing with somebody – not important who – but I put so much into this game and I only play to win. I don’t play for any individual stats or accolades, any of that. And at times I get lost in how everybody is not built the way that I’m built.
"The same with [Minnesota coach] Thibs [Tom Thibodeau]. People don’t understand that he puts so much time into his craft. He understands what it takes. But sometimes I just look around and I don’t understand how or why you all don’t love to get better the way that I do."
Will the Timberwolves be interested in trading Butler? Maybe. If they don't believe he'll consider re-signing next summer, they could look to trade him now and get something back.
Here are three potential trade partners.
The same Sun-Times report says that Butler and Celtics guard Kyrie Irving are continuing to explore ways to play with each other. Boston has several young assets that could intrigue Minnesota, but it's unclear if the Celtics would be willing to part with them for Butler, since he's going to be a free agent next summer.
For the Celtics to make a big move, they'd likely have to get some type of assurance from Butler that he'd highly consider re-signing.
The Wizards' John Wall-Bradley Beal-Otto Porter core probably needs a shakeup if Washington is going to attempt to compete atop the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia and Boston.
Would the Wizards consider moving Beal for Butler if they knew Butler would re-sign? Or would the Timberwolves be interested in a package featuring Porter or Kelly Oubre?
The Blazers, like the Wizards, have an All-Star backcourt but not a ton else. They can compete for a playoff spot in the West, but it's tough to imagine Portland going further than the conference semifinals.
There's been talk that moving one of Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum could be in the franchise's best interest moving forward. Perhaps a McCollum-Butler swap would be considered.