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After locking down one All-Star on Saturday, the Minnesota Timberwolves have turned their focus to dealing away another.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the team’s next step is to trade away Jimmy Butler.
This comes after it agreed to a five-year extension with Karl-Anthony Towns worth up to $190 million, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski provided an additional update on the trade status:
Both players earned All-Star selections last season in their first year playing together in Minnesota, helping the squad reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
While an ideal situation would be to keep these two stars together, friction between them has led to a likely split. Towns’ agent reportedly told Timberwolves management he “can’t coexist with Jimmy,” according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports).
Butler has since requested a trade after meeting with head coach Tom Thibodeau, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
After locking down Towns, it appears the Wolves will grant his wish and trade him to a new team where he can have a fresh start.
It remains to be seen whether he will end up at one of his desired locations, however. Wojnarowski previously reported Butler is interested in a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, while the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are also possibilities to sign him in free agency.
Butler will make a major impact no matter where he goes after earning his fourth All-Star selection last season. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in 2017-18 to go with strong defense on the perimeter.
He will make about $20.4 million for the upcoming season before deciding on a $19.8 million player option for 2019-20.