Shooting guard Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, The Athletic reported Wednesday afternoon.
Butler informed coach Tom Thibodeau of his request on Tuesday, but Thibodeau has been resistant to the idea, according to The Athletic. Butler has reportedly given the Timberwolves a list of one to three teams where he would be open to signing a contract extension. His three preferred destinations are the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the New York Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
Minnesota’s training camp is scheduled to begin Sept. 25, but Butler is reportedly optimistic a deal could be done before camp begins.
After six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Butler played his first season in Minnesota last year, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 59 games.
Butler has been linked to the Celtics a few times during his career:
- 2011 NBA Draft: Butler was drafted 30th overall by the Bulls, but, in a conversation with Bill Simmons in 2016, he revealed he initially thought he was going to be drafted 25th overall by the Celtics.
- 2016 season: The Celtics reportedly made a push for Butler, offering the Bulls two first-round draft picks.
- 2017 offseason: The Celtics reportedly turned down a trade that would have sent Butler to Boston and the third overall pick in the 2017 draft to Chicago. The Bulls ultimately traded Butler to the Timberwolves in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the rights to draft-pick Lauri Markkanen.
- 2018 offseason: Butler and Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving are reportedly trying to play together — “whether that’s in Boston or somewhere else in the East,” Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote in July. The Knicks and the Nets — two of the teams Butler is reportedly interested in joining — are also expected to pursue Irving next offseason.