Butler, 30, wants the five-year, $190 million maximum extension that could come with a trade to a new team, but there is some reluctance to teams to commit $40 million-plus annually as Butler reaches his mid-30's, league sources told ESPN.
This means it's time for some speculation!
The Clippers, Nets, and Knicks each have significantly more flexibility, though none will realistically compete for the title this season, even if Butler joins their fold. And if it's out there Butler would only sign with one to three teams, those other twenty-something teams aren't going to be inclined to give up much in order to acquire a player with no inclination to re-sign.
So which team would be the front-runner if Butler has his way? Yes, this might mean trading Jeff Teague, but trading Butler should make the front office consider doing that anyway.
Upon reading Shams Charania tweet about Butler's trade request, the former Wichita State guard commented, "Hallelujah".
Hollis-Jefferson, 23, also fits into that plan. "More to do with contractual matters".
And now, instead of being asked about how they can build off last season's successes, the only questions anyone in the organization likely will receive, beginning at media day Monday, will be about the franchise's future - and specifically the futures of Butler, Towns, Wiggins and Thibodeau.
Jimmy Butler has decided he'd like to play elsewhere. It may seem a bit surprising at first, because, well, they aren't very good at basketball as now constructed.
Despite being touted as an elite defender and athlete in college at Kansas, Wiggins has regressed since Butler joined the Timberwolves.
Butler, 29, has long expressed his desire to compete for championships at this stage of his career, which the Wolves aren't in line for after a 47-win season marked by a first-round playoff exit and reported friction between Butler and young core pieces in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
"They got a little bit exhausted of hearing him extols his own virtues as much as he did".
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