Clippers are Jimmy Butler's preferred trade destination

Knicks Nets should avoid Jimmy Butler trade

If Butler doesn't show up to camp, it would make things even more hard for Minnesota.

All three of those teams aren't really willing to deal multiple first round picks, so why not tell the media that Butler is no longer for sale. Wojnarowski reported earlier on Friday afternoon that teams inquiring about Butler were being "rebuffed" by the Timberwolves' brass.

Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves has the ball against the New York Knicks during the game on January 12, 2018 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Butler has a $19.8 million player option for 2019-20 that he is likely to decline in order to become a free agent, unless he can secure the trade he is seeking to a team that can offer him a five-year max extension.

Technically, Butler is now signed through the 2019-20 season, but he has a player option for that final year and will nearly certainly opt out of the deal. As much as the Lakers would surely love to pair LeBron James with a co-star, they couldn't trade for Butler without including Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram.

Butler's unhappiness is just the latest issue to befall Minnesota over the past few months.

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The Clippers have a roster that includes a blend of good, hard-playing veterans (Tobias Harris, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams) and talented young guards who could appeal to Thibodeau's desire to surround All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins with playoff-competent talent. Butler liked a comment that suggested he should team up with Kyrie Irving in NYC.

It's unclear whether the Wolves have signed off on Butler's camp holdout.

All of this also ratchets up the pressure on Thibodeau, who was already seen as being in some hot water before Wednesday's developments.

The message has been the same each time - the Timberwolves intend to keep their star forward, according to ESPN. Now he also must balance the possibility of Butler leaving, and how the franchise should best handle that.

Those questions won't stop until the season ends - or until the Timberwolves answer them with actions.

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