Cleat Geeks

Jimmy Buckets

Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler reportedly will not report to training camp if the team does not trade him. Training camp starts on September 25 and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there are three teams that he prefers to go to: New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. At the same time, Wojnarowski notes that there is no guarantee he will be traded considering team owner Glen Taylor “has become fully engaged in the decision-making process on a potential Butler trade and is far more open to the idea of orchestrating a deal than president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden.”

Thibodeau and the Timberwolves are sending mixed messages on whether the team wants to trade Butler. “The owner’s trading him,” one board of governors attendee told ESPN on Friday. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.” Many board attendees at the board of governor’s meeting in New York are convinced that the team and Taylor do not want prolonged internal fighting with Butler, preferring to trade him sooner than later.

With the help of Butler, the Timberwolves ended their 13 year playoff drought, and to some, the news that Butler wants to be traded got some people off guard. However, Andrew Wiggins brother, Nick responded with jubilation with a Twitter post that said “Hallelujah,” which has since been deleted.

A report came out saying that star Karl-Anthony Towns told the team he could not co-exist with Butler along side. Furthermore, Towns reportedly will not sign his rookie extension until the team resolves the issue with Butler according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.

There are three teams that Butler would like to end up with but according to ESPN, the top team he wants to join are the Clippers. “Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free-agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.” The Clippers have two max contract slots available for next July and are emerging as the favorite to land Kawhi Leonard when he is slated to be a free agent next summer, per league sources.

In his first year with the Timberwolves, Butler averaged over 22 points a game, had a career best two steals a game and averaged nearly five assists a game. The Wolves have some outstanding talent, but Butler is the best player on the team. The team does better with him on the court compared to when he is not playing. The biggest issue Minnesota has to deal with is, do you take a player who makes a difference on the court in key stats but has an issue co-existing with other players? Or does the team get rid of a player who is not considered a great teammate but lose points, assists and rebounds without his presence on the court? It would depend on what the Wolves would get in a trade. ranks Butler at NO. 14 in best players in the NBA, he was previously at NO. 11. His ability to ignite the home crowd at important moments are what makes him a legit star. Last season, Butler and LeBron James went at it back and forth in Cleveland and he is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA. Wherever he plays this upcoming season, Butler will surpass 10,000 points in the regular season. He doesn’t leave anything on the court, if he was a power forward, he may not be what Shaq was, but he would impose his will on defenders close to the way Shaq did in his prime years.

If he ends up in a big market either in New York or L.A. how will he adapt from a smaller one in Minnesota? Yes he had his best season with the Bulls, but would he replicate 2016-2017 many times? His talent on the court is limitless, he can play the small game and can dunk over taller defenders. Yes he has been in the NBA for 7 years, but he has the ability to mark his place as a top 10 player in a league filled with well established super-stars and rising stars that could be the next great NBA players. It would be in the best interest of Butler and the team to get this chaos resolved as soon as possible so that the news will not be the friction among his teammates but his ability to be a super star. As a Bulls fans that saw him play some epic games, the best word to describe Jimmy Butler is swag. As Bulls TV color commentator Stacey King would say, “Get up or get out of the way.”

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