The Timberwolves are reportedly preparing to start the season with Butler on the Minnesota roster.
The Timberwolves are set to kick off their season a week from today when they open the 2018-19 season in a road contest against the Spurs. However, it remains unclear if four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler will be in San Antonio for the opener.
Minnesota's star swingman, who has been at odds with the organization for nearly a month, requested a trade from the Timberwolves on Sept. 19. There have been a flood of rumors on Butler's NBA future since his initial trade request including contradictory reports coming from within the Minnesota front office.
So where do we stand in the Jimmy Butler trade saga seven days from opening night? Here's a comprehensive timeline of the Butler trade rumors since his initial request.
Butler requests a trade: Sept. 18
Butler met with Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau and requested to be traded from the organization before he begins his final season under contract in Minnesota. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Butler was "determined to find a way to the Los Angeles Clippers" and was looking to pair with a second All-Star in the 2019 free agency class. The Marquette product also reportedly would consider signing a contract extension if dealt to the Nets or Knicks.
Wolves owner, front office at odds: Sept 21
Minnesota's front office stood firm in their desire to keep Butler and reportedly shut down inquires from opposing teams, per Wojnarowski. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor took a different stance and told owners owners at the NBA board of governors meetings that "Butler is available, and prospective suitors should contact Taylor himself," according to Wojnarowski. With Taylor upfront about his desire to make a quick deal for Butler, one meeting attendee said, "The owner's trading him... It's just a matter or when."
Heat become Butler suitor: Sept 23
With Minnesota's ower prepared to move on from his disgruntled All-Star, Miami emerged as the first legitimate suitor for Butler. The Heat and president Pat Riley were "as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade," per Wojnarowski. The Rockets and Suns were ready to dip their toe into the Butler market.
Tom Thibodeau meets with Butler: Sept 24
Despite his owner's intent to deal Butler, Thibodeau wasn't done trying to keep his star shooting guard. He reportedly met with Butler and attempted to convince him to stay with the Timberwolves, but Butler wouldn't budge and reiterated his desire to be dealt by the season opener.
Miami rumors intensify: Oct. 3
The first reports of serious negotiations arose in the first week of October. The Heat reportedly pushed the Timberwoles to "accept a revised offer" for Butler with a deal potentially centered around center Bam Adebayo, guard Josh Richardson and a first-round pick. The Rockets also engaged in Butler trade talks, but have thus far been unwilling to trade forward P.J. Tucker.
Potential Heat trade falls apart: Oct. 7
Minnesota and Miami were in the "11th hour" of trade talks, according to Wojnarowski, but the deal fell apart as the Timberwolves "pushed late for a sweeter return" in a potential trade. The two teams had shared Butler's medical information but a deal didn't come together even with the urging of Taylor.
Butler meets with Thibodeau, restates trade wish: Oct. 8
Butler made an appearance at the Timberwolves facility for the first time this offseason on Monday, per The Athletic's Jon Krawczyinski. Butler with Thibodeau met once again in hopes of being traded. However, questions remain over whether a deal will come to fruition before the season begins. According to Krawczyinski, Minnesota is "making preparations to start the season with Butler on the roster."
Heat wish to reopen negotiations: Oct. 10
Three days after the initial trade negotiations fell apart, Miami has not given up in its pursuit of Butler, according to Wojnarowski. The Heat remain the lone legitimate suitor for Butler as of Wednesday afternoon as the Timberwolves have reportedly "had no serious, active talks with any other team."
Butler fiery in return to practice: Oct. 10
Butler showed up for his first practice of the preseason on Wednesday, and he didn't exactly opt to blend in with his Timberwolves' teammates. Butler verbally attacked Thibodeau and generally manager Scott Layden per Wojnarowski, reportedly telling Layden during a scrimmage, "You f---ing need me. You can't win without me."