Jimmy Butler might be the biggest name potentially on the NBA's trade market, now that the Spurs have shipped Kawhi Leonard to Toronto in exchange for All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan. The Minnesota Timberwolves' star has found himself at the center of a lot of trade rumors.
Butler himself has helped fuel some of these trade rumors, too. His social media activity has seemed like that of a player who wants to be somewhere else. Butler has, on multiple occasions, liked posts calling for him to play for another team.
One NBA analyst is calling for the Timberwolves to trade Butler, who will be a free agent in 2019, right now.
"I’d be looking to trade Jimmy Butler if I was the Timberwolves," he tweeted.
"He doesn’t seem to mesh with younger kids, and doesn’t seem to like Minny. Why not move him now? This isn’t a title team, might not even be a playoff team... I’d be quietly making calls. That’s all I’m saying."
A Chicago Sun-Times report did say that Butler and Kyrie Irving continue to talk about playing together:
A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler — who’s been playing with the Timberwolves since a draft-night trade in 2017 — are still trying to figure out a way to play together. The Celtics could try to acquire Butler this summer, or the two former Team USA teammates could simply opt out of their player options after next season and join forces then. Their intent is to build an elite backcourt, whether that’s in Boston or somewhere else in the East.
There's already speculation that Butler and Kyrie could team up on the Knicks or the Nets in 2019.
It seems like Minnesota is intent on keeping Butler and making another run in 2018-19, but at this point, a trade wouldn't be that surprising.