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Shams: Jimmy Butler requests trade from Minnesota Timberwolves

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With less than a week before training camp opens, star wing Jimmy Butler reportedly wants out of Minny.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of the Athletic, star wing Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Butler’s future with Minnesota was considered fragile at best after requesting a meeting with Tom Thibodeau in recent days, and that request has now apparently evolved into a full-on trade demand. After the Timberwolves were trounced by the Houston Rockets in last year’s playoffs—and given Minnesota’s financial future and team direction—it’s not surprising that Butler wants out sooner rather than later.

The star wing averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game for the T-Wolves last year, teaming with Karl-Anthony Towns to carry the team to an 8-seed and Minnesota’s first playoff appearance in over a decade. The defining moment was a win over the Denver Nuggets in game 82 of the regular season, in which Butler put up 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, including some clutch baskets late in the game.

It appears that not only did Butler clash with the team’s direction, but he also clashed personality-wise with young cornerstones Towns and Andrew Wiggins. With Butler stating publicly that he wasn’t a fan of players who weren’t completely devoted to self-improvement and winning, it would seem that he was referring to those young stars to some degree.

Following the Sham-wow, Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a Woj-bomb, detailing the three teams that Butler apparently prefers.

Unfortunately, Denver isn’t included on this initial list. But there are still many reasons for him to consider a move to Denver, including his friendship with Demaryius Thomas, who was doing yeoman’s work in recruiting Butler this summer:

Regardless of the list, the Nuggets should consider calling the Timberwolves. Denver can come up with some creative trade packages right now, and if they have the confidence that Butler will re-sign, Denver could throw in some more valuable pieces to entice Minnesota into taking a deal. Remember, Butler is an elite player. As close as Nikola Jokic is to that mantle, he’s not quite there. Adding Butler to the mix would put the Nuggets into another category of playoff team this year.