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There seems to be unrest in the Minnesota Timberwolves camp, and Jimmy Butler is part of that.

Butler was traded from the Chicago Bulls to Minnesota prior to last season and has, per DunkingWithWolves.com's Trey Flynn, become dissatisfied with the work ethic of some teammates, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. In addition, per Chicago.SunTimes.com's Joe Cowley, Jimmy and the Celtics Kyrie Irving have had a desire to join forces for some time.

Both Butler and Irving have player options for the 2019-20 season and can opt out of their contracts with their present teams. There appear to be no concrete conversations going on between the two teams at this point, but it would not be surprising to see Jimmy on the move again this summer via trade.

Boston is flush with wings Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris and don't have a dire need for another one. Further, Tatum seems virtually untouchable in almost any trade, and Hayward is in a similar situation. The Celtics are also high on Brown, so he would most likely not be moved.


Player rentals seem to be on the rise in the NBA, and both Irving and Butler, barring a trade, could choose to move on after the upcoming season and pair up elsewhere. Jimmy is definitely a very talented, two-way player that would generally fit Brad Stevens' schemes. Both Brad and Danny Ainge would obviously confront the question as to whether or not Jimmy is simply a malcontent, albeit a very talented one.

Butler will earn 18.7 million dollars this coming season. It is difficult to project a scenario that would work for both Boston and Minnesota in moving Butler to Bean Town, but Ainge rarely misses an opportunity to at least consider such a possibility. This could be an active summer for many NBA teams.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Butler photo via Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America
Irving/Butler photo via CSN Chicago

Tom Lane 7/04/2018 11:14:00 AM Edit
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