Andrew Wiggins Wants Jimmy Butler Gone

Jimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota – and Andrew Wiggins couldn't be happier

September 20, 2018 - 9:44 am

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After one season in Minnesota, Jimmy Butler wants out. The four-time All-Star has informed the team that he would like to be traded – ideally to one of a handful of franchises.

Memo to Minnesota: Good luck with that.

“The timing is incredibly difficult,” The Athletic Timberwolves writer Jon Krawczynski said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Especially when you consider that Jimmy has respect for Tibs (Tom Thibodeau) and has long said he supports him and he credits Tibs for helping develop him into an All-Star from a low-level first-round pick who didn’t play at all as a rookie. He’s always had all of this affinity for him – or at least he says that publicly.

“But to kind of back him into a corner right before the season begins is tough,” Krawczynski continued. “There’s no other way to put it. If he wanted out, it would have been a lot more friendly to the Wolves to express this quietly in June or July and maybe give them some time to put together a deal and go find something and go shopping and see if you have a chance to recoup something from your investment.”

Butler, 29, averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 59 games last season, as Minnesota finished 47-35 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

“To (request a trade) this close to the season, I think the only motivation that I can really surmise is he’s hoping that the deadline of training camp starting and all of those things will instill a sense of urgency in them to get a deal done and they won’t fight it and they won’t argue it and they’ll just go with it and move on,” Krawczynski said. “But we’ll see if that happens or not.”

It seems some Timberwolves won’t miss Butler. When news of the trade request broke, Andrew Wiggins’ brother, Nick, tweeted “Hallelujah”.

“The really surprising thing about that is the Wiggins family and the way that they roll, they are never on social media like that,” Krawczynski said. “They are never chirping. They are never saying anything derogatory or anything like that. They post pictures of Andrew and his puppies. There is nothing to draw attention to themselves. So to see Nick Wiggins put that out there, saying hallelujah, that was a big eye-opener. That tells you that Andrew was happy that Butler wants out and doesn’t want him around. 

“Now, does it reflect well on the Wiggins clan?” Krawczynski continued. “Maybe not – and Nick quickly deleted it. But that just speaks to the internal chemistry issues that have been plaguing this team all season. We have reported on that – and Tom Thibodeau has constantly denied (it) and has said it’s overblown. But now it’s all blowing up right in his face, so there’s really no denying it anymore.”

Even if Butler is traded, it likely won’t happen any time soon.

“Even situations where both sides are motivated to get a deal, it takes weeks – and maybe even a month or more – to trade star players,” Krawczynski said. “That’s just the way that it is. And so far we’ve been told that Tom Thibodeau is saying, ‘I’m not going to trade him.’ They’re going to have to work through this process. If they do come to the conclusion that they want to move him – which I believe they have to do – it’s going to take a while to do that. . . . You’re going to talk about the most chaotic, negative, ridiculous media day in the history of media days that’s coming on Monday in Minnesota here with the Timberwolves. It’s going to be unbelievable.”