Thanks to its “big three” of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler, the Minnesota Timberwolves had their first winning record and made their first playoff trip in 13 years. However, there might be a chance that one of these star players could be headed elsewhere within the next couple seasons or so, if not in the coming 2018-19 NBA season, according to a new report from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Sun-Times cited a “league source” familiar with the situation, who said that Jimmy Butler and Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving are “still trying to figure out a way to play together.” The source did not specify any exact trades that might take place in the current offseason, but the Sun-Times wrote that this could involve the Celtics trading for Butler ahead of the 2018-19 season, or both Butler and Irving opting out of the final years of their contracts in the 2019 offseason and playing on the same team, possibly in the Eastern Conference, as free agents.
Talking about the reason why Butler allegedly wants to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Chicago Sun-Times again cited a league source, who claimed that the former Chicago Bulls All-Star guard has “no intentions” of signing a contract extension with the Timberwolves because of the “nonchalant attitude” of younger teammates such as Karl-Anthony Towns. This backed up a previous statement he made to the publication, where he accused his teammates of not sharing his winning mentality, and hinted at a talk he had with an unnamed player about the importance of winning.
“I just had a conversation about that very thing with somebody – not important who – but I put so much into this game and I only play to win. I don’t play for any individual stats or accolades, any of that. And at times I get lost in how everybody is not built the way that I’m built.”
Although the above rumor suggests the possibility of Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving playing together for the Boston Celtics, Bleacher Report suggested another scenario that might take place — both players becoming free agents next year and teaming with an “established” frontcourt star. The scenario hints at Butler and Irving playing with Kristaps Porzingis on the New York Knicks, with the three stars “forming the foundation” of a team that could fight for an NBA championship.
Bleacher Report added more details on the hypothetical scenario, suggesting that the Knicks might not have to pay a lot of money for either Kyrie Irving or Jimmy Butler, as DeMarcus Cousins’ recent commitment to sign with the Golden State Warriors proved that NBA’s top players are willing to sign for less if it meant joining a so-called “super-team.”