Just a week before camp, it seems that absolutely is very happy in Minnesota.
Jimmy Butler wants out. Tom Thibodeau's job is in trouble. Management is looking at another lost season. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins? Well, we don't really know how they feel just yet, but there seem to be some hints on Twitter. Even KAT's invisible friend Karlito is considering opting out.
After Jimmy Butler's somewhat surprising trade request Wednesday morning, rumors have been swirling around the NBA regarding who he wants to join, what teams really want him, and how the Timberwolves will approach the situation.
It would appear head coach Tom Thibodeau seems to think that they can just move past it.
As Minnesota's Jimmy Butler prefers a deal to destinations including the Clippers, Knicks and Nets, Tom Thibodeau has no interest in trading him -- for now. ESPN story: https://t.co/krC560ZX6d— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2018
Thibodeau's job may be on the line with this one as well. He was the one who decided to trade for Butler in the first place, giving away a package of Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and a first-round pick that became Lauri Markkanen. That's three first-round picks for a guy who has played one season in Minnesota, and now he wants out? Not very promising.
But don't compound a mistake with a mistake. If your star, set to leave the organization next summer anyway, is begging to leave, then you should probably get what you can for him. If you don't trade Butler, then he's ready to castrate the team's chemistry further.
Jimmy Butler after Tom Thibodeau laid out the plans for his future in Minnesota pic.twitter.com/7PeJrO3XL8— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) September 19, 2018
No matter how badly Thibodeau wants this situation to work out, it's simply not worth all the drama and distractions that Butler remaining on the team would bring. They can try and point at the Cavs' failure to get equal value for Kyrie, or possibly even at the Spurs' forced Kawhi swap, but Jimmy Butler isn't either of those players. He's not a young point guard entering his age-25 season or a top three player in the league. He's a solid All-Star player, but has shown nothing to prove that he can lead you to a championship as a No. 1 piece.
The Timberwolves should try and get whatever they can for Jimmy Buckets before the season, as he's destined to land in a bigger market willing to pay him big money this summer regardless. Thibs has to realize that the brief Jimmy Butler era in Minnesota is already over.