Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Jimmy Butler is one of the players who are expected to be traded before the start of the 2018-19 NBA season. The 29-year-old small forward has already demanded a trade from the Timberwolves and gave them a list of his preferred trade destinations. When Butler expressed his desire to leave, Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau initially opposed the idea of trading him, believing they still have the capability to convince him to stay long-term in Minnesota.
Coach Tom Thibodeau later agreed to make Jimmy Butler available on the trading block after a meeting with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and General Manager Scott Layden. However, it doesn’t appear that Thibodeau really wants to move the disgruntled superstar. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Timberwolves’ asking price for Butler is too high for interested NBA teams.
“Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.”
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the NBA teams who expressed a strong interest in acquiring Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves. With their goal to fully dominate the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference, the Timberwolves obviously need another superstar who can play alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid next season. With the plethora of trade assets they have, the Sixers have a strong chance of convincing the Timberwolves to send Butler to Philadelphia.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2018
In an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast (h/t Bleacher Report), Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer discussed how high the Timberwolves’ asking price is for Jimmy Butler. In the trade negotiation with the Sixers, the Timberwolves are reportedly demanding Ben Simmons in return.
“One of the things that I’ve heard from a handful of sources is that—with the Sixers for example—the initial offer that they made, the counter-offer was like, ‘We need Ben Simmons in a deal.'”
Though Jimmy Butler is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, the Timberwolves are still expecting a good return, specifically a comparable veteran who can help them remain competitive in the deep Western Conference next season. However, it is highly unlikely that the Sixers will trade Ben Simmons for a possible one-year rental with health issues.
Unless the Timberwolves lower their asking price, the Jimmy Butler saga is expected to continue until the start of the 2018-19 NBA season.