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Report: Timberwolves were willing to grant Jimmy Butler’s trade request before it leaked

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on December 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

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Timberwolves president Tom Thibodeau said he’d honor Jimmy Butler’s trade request.

But skepticism abounds. Every update is seen through the lens of Minnesota dragging its feet.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN:

The Wolves never wanted the trade request leaked. They were always willing to satisfy the trade request when it was made – what now? – two weeks ago today, two weeks ago in Los Angeles. But the Wolves had no intention of leaking said request. That was the Jimmy Butler side that leaked the request. The Wolves remain upset about that. So, I get a kick out of the Butler side – who’s been leaking everything, by the way. Well, I don’t want to say everything. But 98 percent of information you see out there is driven by the Butler side, OK. And they are upset a trade hasn’t been completed yet.

Butler met with Thibodeau on Sept. 18. By the next day, the trade request leaked.

That leaves two possibilities for this report: Either Wolfson heard from someone in the very narrow window the trade request was secret about Minnesota’s plan or he heard after the request leaked. If he heard before the leak, that’s more credible, but there wasn’t much time for that. If he heard after the leak, he’s taking someone or people at their word about a situation they never had to face.

Consider this from Butler’s perspective. To him, he requested a trade in August, and nothing happened. The follow-up meeting with Thibodeau and leak were designed to spark a move that otherwise appeared not to be coming.

Butler clearly has an agenda. He wants to leave Minnesota, and leaks from his side are meant to hasten that. They also lower his trade value.

So, I get why the Timberwolves would want to blame this whole fiasco on him. But the idea they definitely would have traded him without a leak but now there’s haziness seems like an attempt by Minnesota to get back at him.