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In a clear sign that the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to make a deal, star swingman Jimmy Butler has been excused from the team’s media day Monday, The Athletic reported.
Butler reportedly requested a trade from the Timberwolves earlier in the week. According to multiple reports, the Timberwolves are at least looking into granting him his wish.
Along with missing media day, Butler is not expected to participate in at least the early portion of training camp, per The Athletic.
Butler is said to prefer the Los Angeles Clippers as a destination, but may also be interested in the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.
Several teams are said to be pursuing Butler, with owner Glen Taylor reportedly more than open to listening, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Per the report, Taylor is “motivated to get a deal done soon,” perhaps despite head coach Tom Thibodeau’s desire to keep Butler.
“Thibodeau does not want to trade Butler and has told general manager Scott Layden to shut down talks before other teams can make offers,” the Star Tribune reported. “But Taylor is superseding management in trade talks in an effort to facilitate a trade.”
Butler was traded to the Timberwolves from the Chicago Bulls on draft day in June 2017.
He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 59 games in his first season with the Timberwolves, teaming with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to push the Timberwolves to a rare playoff appearance. They lost in the first round to the Houston Rockets.