Jimmy Butler listed three teams where he wanted the Timberwolves to trade him to.
Looking to escape his young Timberwolves’ teammates, Butler may have confused the NBA world with the list of his preferences. Butler initially wanted the Timberwolves to try and trade him to either the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, or the New York Knicks.
In the eyes of NBA pundits, neither of those teams are considered as the who’s who of NBA relevancy. The Clippers, Knicks, and Nets are far away from competing for an NBA title, despite existing in larger markets than the Timberwolves. What each team has is considerable cap space for next summer and Butler wants to get paid.
The Timberwolves tried to offer Butler an extension over the summer. Needless to say, Butler told the Timberwolves no.
The Clippers did have a remarkable run for the last six seasons, however, the snakebit franchise failed to advance further than the second round of the playoffs. The Clippers were in the mix with the Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot last season. With the ability to add another player alongside Butler, the Clippers were not the biggest headscratcher amongst the desired places to play.
The case for the Knicks and Nets completing a trade with the Timberwolves are murky.
Each team has the talent to entice the Timberwolves to make a trade, however, there is a reluctance to include many assets of consequence. The Timberwolves want a first-round pick included in any trade for Butler. It does appear feasible or wise for the Knicks and Nets to hand the Timberwolves a pick and a player with some upside just to be able to compete for a low playoff seed.