Who said September is a dead month in the NBA?
Early Wednesday afternoon The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Minnesota’s very own Jon Krawczynski broke the news that Jimmy wants out of Minnesota and has requested a trade.
Jimmy listed three teams he would be willing to sign long-term extensions with if traded: Nets, Knicks, and Clippers. So the question needs to be asked… why does Jimmy Butler hate himself?
First of all, no one in their right mind requests to be traded to the Nets or Knicks if you care about winning. And I suppose LA is nice this time of year, but none of those three teams are close to contending for a championship. So why there?
Jonny Athletic says it’s all about the contract for Butler, not his reported hostility with teammates Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
But how can it be contractually related if Butler is leaving $40 million on the table to go somewhere else? That doesn’t seem like a business decision. It kind of seems like he’s had enough of Minnesota.
I think it’s important to ask ourselves how much of any of this is actually true?
Normally agents are the ones pulling the strings when All-Stars request trades, so it would make sense he would have some clue as to what’s going on with Butler.
Here’s my take (if anyone cares): Butler obviously wants out of Minnesota, for whatever reason (teammate quarrels, Tom Thibodeau, the organization, small market, etc.). So what does the organization do now?
The very first thing that needs to happen is Thibs needs to be fired from his role as President of Basketball Operations immediately. There has always been the fear that Thibs the POBO might make some irrational decisions so that Thibs the coach can get his way. He is too unpredictable right now to make the correct decisions to get the maximum value for Jimmy Butler. It seems very plausible that Thibs could make a quick trade to get immediate value even if that means sacrificing a better deal down the road in order to save face in his head coaching position. After all, Jimmy Butler was one of the few things keeping disgruntled Wolves fans and owner Glen Taylor off Thibs’ back.
The second thing that needs to happen is for everyone to take a breath.
Just because he has requested a trade doesn’t mean the Wolves need to trade him before the season starts, hell they don’t need to trade him at all if they don’t want to. Jimmy is still under contract and is required to play in a Wolves jersey, whether he likes it or not. Dane Moore recently wrote an article about the bad timing of a Butler trade a week or so before training camp starts. The market will be small now, but come the trade deadline when, say, the LA Lakers are on the cusp of missing the playoffs altogether, teams might be willing to part ways with their more valuable assets in order to add one of the best two-way guards in the league.
Getting back to the three teams Butler requested a trade to–that means nothing. Just like the Kawhi situation, the Spurs waited and took the best deal available from a team Kawhi never mentioned he would re-sign with. But in return, the Spurs got an All-Star as well as a good, young player to rebuild around. The Timberwolves front office can learn a thing or two about how to handle their own trade request from a legendary franchise who handled it as well as you can in that position.
It is interesting, however, to note what all three of those teams have in common–they are all big markets. New York and Los Angelas are about as big as you get. It seems Butler wants to expand his brand and feels Minnesota isn’t a suitable market to do so in.
This is all still a fluid situation. Jimmy’s agent doesn’t know what’s going on, the reports are credible but very fresh. There is so much drama surrounding this franchise now and Andrew Wiggins’ brother just added fuel to the fire by rejoicing when hearing about the trade request:
Media day is in less than a week, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions that I’m sure Thibs will be thrilled to give long, thought-provoking, sincere answers to. Or he could do something like this: