Boston Celtics

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

As expected, and after an unsuccessful meeting with head coach/team president Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves two-way star Jimmy Butler has formally requested a trade, according to multiple reports.

From The Athletic:

Butler and Thibodeau met on Tuesday in Los Angeles to discuss his situation, according to multiple sources. Over the last several weeks, Butler began to seriously contemplate his future with the team and a potential trade request, league sources said. It was in that meeting that Butler expressed a desire to be traded, telling Thibodeau that he does not intend to sign a long-term extension with the Wolves next summer. He has provided a list of one to three teams with which he would be open to signing a long-term deal, sources said.

It’s believed that those three teams are the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers.

And while it’s unlikely that the C’s would make any sort of play for Butler while knowing they’re not featured in his long-term plans — nor does Butler necessarily fit a need for the Celtics with the emergence of Jaylen Brown as a legitimate building block — Butler’s interest in his next destination is certainly worth recognizing if you’re the Celtics.

That’s because in what’s shaping up to be a loaded 2019 free agent class, Butler has circled both the Knicks and Nets as potential landing spots. Both the Knicks and Nets have reportedly expressed an interest in lure the Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving back to his home area, too, and the Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors truly dominated the summer.

So much so that Irving himself talked about the pressure of handling pitches and outside noise regarding the Knicks.

“I think just hearing the balance, it’s just a ways away, man,” Irving said earlier this summer when talking about a season of ‘will he or won’t he?’ in regards to his future. “But [the hype] is already starting. As long as I could just divide the attention up and it just doesn’t infiltrate what I’m focused on during the season, then I’m cool with it.”

Oh, and there’s also the report that Butler and Irving had an interest in teaming up somewhere within the East. (Both the Knicks and Nets would theoretically have the money to add both Butler and Irving this offseason, too.)

So while there’s nothing from Irving’s camp that’s indicated he’s actually interested in teaming up with Butler and/or leaving the Celtics, it seems pretty obvious what Butler is angling for with his preferred destinations.

Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.