It was reported by The Athletic on Wednesday that Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler has requested a trade, and the four-time All-Star has given an indicator on where he wants to go.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler would like to join the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers or Brooklyn Nets. All three teams have the cap space to acquire him and offer Butler the five-year, $190 million supermax contract in the summer.
The Clippers top his preferred list.
Minnesota's Jimmy Butler is most determined to find a way to the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN. The appeal of partnering with a second star - the Clippers have two max contract slots available in summer free agency - is an intriguing scenario for him.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 20, 2018
Wojnarowski emphasized that Butler wants to join a team that will give him the supermax, though "there is some reluctance from teams," to give him such a contract, since it would take him into his mid-30s.
And on top of that, Wojnarowski noted that Butler "is enamored with the idea of playing a central role in a big market," but that doesn't include the Los Angeles Lakers. Sources told 'Woj' that the Lakers are "less appealing" to Butler, now that they have a new franchise star in LeBron James.
It should also be noted, that Minnesota head coach and president Tom Thibodeau doesn't plan on trading Butler right now, per Wojnarowski. The Timberwolves will have a hard time fitting a deal that will bring them back the proper assets to still compete for a playoff spot, so holding onto Butler for the time being makes plenty of sense.
It's surprising to hear that Butler may be the latest All-Star that doesn't want to join LeBron in Los Angeles. Paul George was widely expected to join the Lakers in 2018, but he re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the max. Kawhi Leonard also wants to join a LA-based team, though reports from ESPN have suggested he doesn't want to be LeBron's sidekick.
With Butler, his time in Minnesota is obviously winding down. It remains to be seen if the T-Wolves will trade him, what offers they will get and if another team would give Butler the supermax. Stay tuned.