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Star swingman Jimmy Butler wants traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves and he prefers to end up with Los Angeles — and it’s probably not the LA franchise most NBA followers would expect.
According to a report from ESPN, Butler has a strong desire to play for the Clippers.
“Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler,” ESPN reported.
Butler informed the Timberwolves he wishes to be traded during a meeting with head coach and president of basketball operation Tom Thibodeau. The Athletic was the first report on Butler’s trade request.
Early reports said Butler formed a list of three preferred destinations, with the Clippers being on the list. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets were supposedly the others.
Butler told Thibodeau he had hoped to be traded before the team’s media day Monday.
“The Clippers have a roster that includes a blend of good, hard-playing veterans (Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams) and talented young guards who could appeal to Thibodeau’s desire to surround All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins with playoff-competent talent,” ESPN reported.
Butler, 29, will be seeking a five-year contract in the neighborhood of $190 million next season, according to reports.
He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 59 games last season, helping to lift the Timberwolves to a rare playoff appearance. They lost to the Houston Rockets in five games in the first round.
This is the second time Butler has wanted out of a city after experiencing some success. The Timberwolves acquired him from the Chicago Bulls in a draft-night trade in 2017.
Thibodeau is resistant to trading Butler, The Athletic reported.