Jimmy Butler Has Made the NBA’s Offseason Even Spicier

Jimmy Butler just couldn’t let the exciting 2018 NBA offseason end, could he? After months of speculation of his unhappiness with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, the All-Star small forward met with Wolves head coach and President of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau on Wednesday and officially requested a trade. And now the floodgates for more rumors and speculation surrounding the topic, along with phone calls for Minnesota’s front office.

This comes a year after the Chicago Bulls shipped the now-29-year-old, and the 16th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft to Minnesota in exchange for guards Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the number seven overall pick, which eventually turned into Lauri Markannen. He was reunited with his old Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and formed an intriguing trio with young franchise building blocks in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

Butler was expected to be the star of the team that would help preach Thibs’ message of effort and defense, and Wiggins was expected to improve under Butler’s wing. But things did not go as planned, and someone wore out Butler’s welcome. Wiggins took a step back, and the Wolves defense did not improve much, if at all. This obviously did not sit well with the veteran, who reportedly had a problem with KAT’s, Wiggins’, and the other young guys’ nonchalant attitude and work ethic.

But, around the same time, there were reports that KAT was not in a good spot with the franchise, and speculation of trade of his was being thrown around. There was a lot of negative sports noise surrounding a city whose sports teams have always been the recipient of bad luck, and this only added to the stereotype.

The belief was that Butler finally grew fed up with the franchise and the players and wanted out. However, according to Jon Krawcyznski, who covers the T-Wolves for The Athletic, Wiggins, and Towns were not as big of factors as we would think.

But where there is smoke, there is fire, and there has been a lot of smoke. And Andrew Wiggins’ brother’s reaction did little to douse it.

But he did not leave without leaving his mark, as he averaged 22.2 points, 4.9 assists, 5.3 rebounds on 47.4% shooting from the field (50.2% from two-point range and 35% on three-pointers) en route to making the All-Star team and helped lead the franchise to their first playoff appearance in 14 years.

His trade demand follows right after Kawhi Leonard demanded a trade out of San Antonio, preferably to the city of Los Angeles. That saga was the talk of the NBA offseason, and the Spurs gave in and moved him, but not to where he wanted to go. They instead shipped him north of the border to the Toronto Raptors. So it will be interesting to see whether or not the Wolves give in to Butler’s demand and move him to one of his three reported preferred destinations.

Leonard and Butler are two of the biggest names from the upcoming 2019 free agency class, and one team has already risked taking a chance on a one-year rental while another might be doing the same. Leonard and Butler have created a new formula where star players with one year left on their contract will demand a trade for whatever reason. It’s no fun for the team and fanbase involved, but it sure is entertaining for everyone on the outside looking in.

And these two aren’t the only two to make noise this offseason. Paul George’s free agency had a lot of speculation surrounding it, and the foregone conclusion was that he would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. But, in a somewhat anticlimactic way, he decided to stay. However, LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and took his talents to the city of Los Angeles and decided to lace up with the purple and gold. Oh, and there’s the bit of DeMarcus Cousins leaving New Orleans and going to the Golden State Warriors to the ire of the rest of the NBA.

But now we turn our heads to Minnesota as the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes are just heating up with less than a month till the season-opener. To add even more juice to the situation, fans should hope that he isn’t traded before September 24, which is the Timberwolves’ Media Day. Only time will tell, but we should no doubt have his return to Minneapolis circled on our calendar.

Sports and food enthusiast. Love reading thriller and Comic books. Will talk almost any movie or tv show (more recent preferred), especially Westworld!

Related posts