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Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau says he’ll honor Jimmy Butler’s trade request

Jimmy Butler, Tom Thibodeau

FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves new point guard Jimmy Butler, right, pats Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau on the back during a press conference at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The NBA has for years had an issue with the Western Conference being superior to the East, but next season promises to have the widest talent gap yet after a flurry of stars left their teams in the East to try to challenge the mighty Warriors in the West. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King, File)


There has been signal after signal after signal after signal after signal after signal Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau is reluctant to trade Jimmy Butler, who requested to be dealt.


Thibodeau, via Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports:

“Our reality is that he has requested a trade, so we’ll honor that,” Thibodeau told me. “But we’re not just going to make any deal. ... Our conversations (between Butler and Thibodeau) will remain private. He requested a trade and we’re going to honor his request. But we’re not going to do anything that’s bad for the Timberwolves. We’re going to do what’s good for the Timberwolves. We have to prioritize that. That’s what our job is.”

It’s unclear whether Thibodeau views honoring Butler’s trade request as trying to find a trade or absolutely trading the star. There’s obviously a huge difference. Most of Thibodeau’s comments, including this one, indicate the latter.

Either way, I still expect Minnesota to trade Butler soon. This is just another indicator of that.