The sudden Jimmy Butler trade drama: Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Monday Butler and coach/GM Tom Thibodeau were set to meet in Minneapolis but that got moved in Los Angeles last Monday, but that got moved to Tuesday, where Thibodeau thought he could patch up the Butler/Karl-Anthony Towns relationship enough to get them on the same page for training camp, but then Butler asked for a trade, specifically to the Clippers/Nets/Knicks (with Los Angeles in front), but Thibodeau doesn’t want to trade Butler and would rather quit than move him for a rebuilding package of picks.
This makes for a very interesting media day Monday in Minnesota (where everybody will deny everything), however, little has been resolved. Butler wants out and Thibodeau doesn’t want to trade him. Eventually, Thibodeau is going to have to come around on this (or be pushed out for someone who does) — Minnesota can’t afford to lose him for nothing in free agency considering all they gave up.
But the Timberwolves don’t have to trade him where he wants to go — they just need to get the best deal for themselves. From Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic:
I could see a team such as Miami putting together a veteran-heavy package (Thibodeau still wants to win) such as Josh Richardson and Kelly Olynyk, or Richardson with Justise Winslow and some other salary and picks, and seeing if that inspires Thibodeau. (The Clippers may well be able to put together the best veteran package, based around Tobias Harris.) The Suns have been big game hunting and could come in (Trevor Ariza can’t be traded until Dec. 15 but he could be a part of a deal). Philadelphia could roll the dice. There are others.
All of this is a while off — Thibodeau isn’t there yet. There’s a lot of drama between now and then.