Earlier this week on NBALord.com, I addressed the tension growing between Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler and head coach Tom Thibodeau. Since that article was published on Tuesday, multiple reports have surfaced that confirm that the Timberwolves will indeed look to move Butler and that he will not be present at team media day on Monday.
Sources: Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has made it clear to President/Coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden that Jimmy Butler's on the trade block and Taylor wants the front office moving to find a deal. Taylor is pushing for a fast resolution.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
All-Star Jimmy Butler has been granted permission to not participate in Minnesota Timberwolves‘ media day on Monday, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2018
Personally, I think the Timberwolves should entertain the possibility of firing Thibodeau if that will keep Butler around, but it does not look like they are going to go that route. With that being the case, below are five likely landing spots for Butler.
#1. Los Angeles Clippers: There have been additional reports that Jimmy Butler would prefer to get traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. He likes Los Angeles and the Clippers are in need of a new superstar to build around. The Clippers also have some assets that the Timberwolves might like such as Tyrone Wallace, Lou Williams, and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. If the Timberwolves want to get rid of Butler as quickly as possible, the Clippers should be the first team they call.
#2. Milwaukee Bucks: Butler played his college ball at Marquette in Milwaukee, so going to the Bucks would be a homecoming of sorts for him. I don't know if a duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Butler would be enough to get the Bucks to the NBA Finals, but it would certainly be interesting to find out.
#3. Los Angeles Lakers: If Butler wants to go to Los Angeles, the Lakers are the only other alternative to the Clippers. What makes the Lakers a likely landing spot for Butler is they have a ton of assets to offer and are in desperate need of another superstar to pair with LeBron James. A duo of James and Butler would wreak some serious havoc in the Western Conference. They'd be instant contenders.
#4. New York Knicks: The New York Knicks are rumored to be on Butler's list of preferred destinations and they could really use another superstar to pair with Kristaps Porzingis. If the Knicks can land Butler, they'll definitely be cooking with gas at Madison Square Garden. I don't know how good they'd be, but they'd be an instant playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
#5. Brooklyn Nets: The Brooklyn Nets are also rumored to be on Butler's list of preferred destinations and they are in desperate need of a superstar. On top of that, they have the space to sign him. Like Chicago and New York, an added bonus of trading Butler to Brooklyn is that he'd be out of the conference. The Timberwolves are probably hesitant to help out a team that they might end up facing in the playoffs, upping the odds of Butler getting shipped out East.
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