Jimmy Butler trade rumors: 10 potential landing spots

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Jimmy Butler trade rumors
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /

Jimmy Butler trade rumors are running wild after a recent report about the Minnesota Timberwolves star wanting out. Here are 10 potential Butler trades.

As first reported by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski, a meeting between the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ star wing and their head coach did not settle matters between the two parties, and now Jimmy Butler trade rumors are running wild.

Though Tom Thibodeau is resistant to the idea, Butler requesting a trade means the clock is ticking for the Wolves. Training camp is only a week away, and with Jimmy Buckets being an unrestricted free agent next summer, Minnesota needs to move him as soon as possible to avoid losing him for nothing or watching his value depreciate too far.

There’s no question Butler is one of the game’s elite two-way players. In his first season with the Wolves last year, the four-time All-Star averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game to help the team improve by 16 wins from the season prior and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

However, he did not mesh well with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Numerous reports emerged that he was unhappy with their work ethic, and The Athletic expanded that he was hoping for a renegotiation of his contract this summer, rather than the standard max extension (four years, $110 million) they offered.

Since he’s spent so much of his career under Thibs, Butler also has more tread on the tires than your typical 29-year-old wing. He averaged 36.7 minutes per game last year, and has been somewhat injury-prone throughout his career, missing 23 games just last year due to meniscus surgery.

According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler has three preferred trade destinations:

Those teams would allow him to live in a major market, and also have the cap space to re-sign him in free agency next summer while being able to lure another star to join him. The Chicago Sun-Times recently reported that Butler and Kyrie Irving were interested in linking up this summer on an Eastern Conference team with enough cap room for them both.

On a related note, Wojnarowski notes that Butler has little interest in joining the Los Angeles Lakers following LeBron James‘ arrival. While the Lakers could put together an offer revolving around Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lonzo Ball, we’ll exclude them for now, since KCP would have to consent to being traded and couldn’t be moved until Dec. 15 anyway.

Bearing all this in mind, which teams could present a tempting trade offer for the Timberwolves while also standing a chance of re-signing him in free agency? The offers may not be as fruitful with the risk of Butler being a one-year rental and Minnesota losing all its leverage, but for the sake of being thorough, here are 10 potential deals that might work.