Jimmy Butler is seemingly at odds with just about every person who matters within the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. And according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it seems the relationship between Butler and the team is all but severed:
Sources: Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has made it clear to President/Coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden that Jimmy Butler's on the trade block and Taylor wants the front office moving to find a deal. Taylor is pushing for a fast resolution.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
Thibodeau’s general manager, Scott Layden, had been shutting down trade inquires for Butler in recent days, and Taylor has demanded that Layden not only take calls on potential deals, but reach out to initiate conversations, league sources said. This is all really...unique. https://t.co/RwoI9RSvGz— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
Woj elaborated on the situation in a later report:
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. But the list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia, Portland and Sacramento are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
Taylor and Butler want a deal completed before the Timberwolves’ first day of practice on Tuesday, which would require the Timberwolves to use Sunday and Monday to become more aggressive in gathering offers. Taylor’s plan would be to sift through the offers and bring those most appealing for Minnesota back to Butler and his agent, Bernie Lee. This way, the Wolves could learn which teams would interest Butler in signing an extension next summer, which is information that would allow the Wolves to get the best possible return.
Several teams are willing to take Butler without an assurance that he would re-sign with them in the summer.
I would be wary of trading for Butler, but certainly on the phones. The Timberwolves have little leverage, as they’ve let the entire world know that they want a deal done and soon. The ideal situation for the Sixers would be the Butler trade being framed as a rental. In such a scenario, the package required for a rental is typically less than what it would be for a long term piece. But that framing is unlikely to occur: teams like the Clippers or Knicks would be very likely acquiring Butler with an advantage in signing him to a max extension, as Butler has indicated a desire to play in LA and New York (as a Knick or Net).