10 NBA players who turned their back on their franchises

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George / Harry How/GettyImages
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4) Jimmy Butler

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler took an interesting path to play in South Beach. After spending the first six seasons with the Chicago Bulls before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he helped lead the Wolves to their first playoff appearance in more than a dozen years.

Despite that, Butler's relationship with the team quickly soured, even leading to an infamous practice where he played with the bench unit and led them to victory over the starters, while taunting the team's GM. They eventually traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers early during the 2018-19 season. Butler only lasted the rest of the year there before signing with the Heat in the summer of 2019.

While he wasn't around long enough to turn his back on the Sixers, he certainly did on the Timberwolves, who acquired him in the hopes that he would be a long-term fit with Karl-Anthony Towns. That obviously didn't happen, though they didn't give up a lot to acquire Butler. In fact, one could argue that the Wolves are better off after drafting Anthony Edwards in 2020.

He is 12 years younger than Butler and is helping lead Minnesota to its best season in 20 years. While Butler has led Miami to the Eastern Conference three times and the NBA Finals twice, he clearly wasn't going to stick around long enough to do that with Minnesota.