Jimmy Butler is reportedly looking for a trade but at least one opposing general manager would take a pass if the Minnesota Timberwolves called.
“I wouldn’t trade for him,” the opposing GM told Amico Hoops. “Someone will, eventually. But he’s a problem.”
Butler met with the Timberwolves on Tuesday to request a trade, according to The Athletic. He listed three preferred destinations, according to reports, with ESPN citing the Los Angeles Clippers as the team at the top of Butler’s list. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were supposedly the others.
This is the second time Butler has come across as dissatisfied with a situation. He was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Timberwolves in a draft-night deal in 2017. That happened after Butler had basically made it clear he wanted out of Chicago.
In Minnesota, the All-Star swingman was reunited with Tom Thibodeau, the former Bulls coach who is now head coach and president of basketball operations with the Timberwolves.
Butler and Thibodeau reportedly get along well and share a strong mutual respect. But Butler is upset with “contractual matters,” according to The Athletic. Hence, his trade request.
“I’m not buying much of anything being put out there,” the opposing GM told Amico Hoops. “Butler’s reps are probably the source for most of this stuff, so we’re probably only hearing the very best of Butler being reported. But the guy has been two places, hasn’t really won (anything) and is causing issues. He has an inflated view of his own importance if you ask me. I wouldn’t want him on my team.”
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 59 games in his first season with the Timberwolves. He teamed with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to propel the Timberwolves to a rare playoff appearance. They lost in the first round to the Houston Rockets.
There have been reports that Butler didn’t mesh well with Towns and Wiggins — though The Athletic reported teammates weren’t the reason behind Butler’s trade demand.
None of that made any difference to the opposing GM.
“He didn’t want to play in Chicago, he doesn’t want to play in Minnesota,” the opposing GM said. “Does he actually even want to play? Or does he just have people kiss his ass and receive a big paycheck?
“Look, there is no doubt Jimmy is extremely talented. He can help you win games. He gets after it on defense. But he’s not proven to be a team player. It’s one thing to put up numbers. How about having your teammates’ back and being a leader? He doesn’t do those things. I doubt he ever will.
The opposing GM wasn’t finished.
“He’s been a huge hassle for everyone I’ve talked to with both (the Bulls and Timberwolves),” the GM said. “I don’t care where they trade him. He’s still going to be there. Changing uniforms isn’t going to change Jimmy Butler. He needs to change himself. I wouldn’t take that risk. For Jimmy, it’s always all about Jimmy. Forget that, man.”