Jimmy Butler Trade: Recent News May Point to Timberwolves Deal Soon

Jimmy Butler

Getty Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler

There’s an unspoken rule in the basketball world. When a team is getting close to trading a player, they’ll almost always hold them out of a game (if they have one) as talks ramp up. On Friday, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were recently offered a deal including four first-round picks for Jimmy Butler from the Houston Rockets, face the Milwaukee Bucks.

And just hours ahead of the game, the Timberwolves added Jimmy Butler to the injury report as questionable for the game with an illness. Maybe Butler is indeed sick, but it seems a bit surprising that the news, which was reported by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, came just prior to 2 p.m. EST.

This isn’t to say that a trade will get done, even if the Timberwolves are deep into talks with the Rockets or another team. But there is some speculation about whether or not Butler is sick or on the verge of being dealt. Time will tell, but for now, we’ll have to play the waiting game until the team’s game tips off.

Evaluating Rockets’ Recent Offer

It’s not surprising the Timberwolves turned down the latest offer from Houston. The Athletic’s Shams Charania detailed the trade included the previously mentioned four first-round picks, Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight. But based on the fact that Minnesota is focused on getting a return that allows them to remain a playoff team, this wouldn’t accomplish that.

Tack on the fact that the Rockets are likely to be a contender for the foreseeable future and it means the picks Minnesota would pick up are no better than top-25 in any year. Not only would the Timberwolves fail to add an instant-impact playmaker to replace Butler, but their future additions would almost certainly be players with question marks.

READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard