Is Jimmy Butler looking to force a trade by sitting out games?

By Zeb Lunz

 

Senior lead NBA analyst for The Athletic and Stadium, Shams Charania, reported that Jimmy Butler is sitting out tonight’s game due to “general soreness and precautionary rest.”

It sounds more like he has general soreness for still being on the Timberwolves’ roster. Jimmy is making bold moves to ensure his trade away from Minnesota. Now this is where the Rockets need to step in. The Rockets have made attempts to get Butler before. Houston reportedly offered four first-rounders for Jimmy Butler, but since they can’t trade first round picks within consecutive years due to NBA rules, the Timberwolves wouldn’t get the fourth first-round pick until 2025. It might not sound like a great trade, but can Minnesota find a better one? Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins are still young, so it might not be such a bad idea to start over with some young talent.

Obviously, Jimmy’s talent could positively impact any team, especially the Rockets. The Rockets’ players, specifically Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony, are not what they used to be. Paul is 33 years old and Carmelo is 34. Carmelo seems to be a shell of his former self and Paul may never fully recover from his injuries now that he’s older. Not to mention, James Harden isn’t the young durable player he used to be either. Harden needs to take a note from LeBron James, and condition year round.

He’s seems to be paying for it now with his hamstring issue. His injury might have to do with no one else being able share the load. Eric Gordon isn’t good enough to help James Harden with the weight on his shoulders. Having Jimmy Butler with James Harden would benefit them both. Butler has proven that he is a shot creator, has jumped 13% in 3 pointers this season, and he could add to the team in what they’ve been lacking, defense.

Later this afternoon, Butler reportedly refuted these tweets by texting ESPN’s Rachel Nichols and saying “It’s because my body is hurting. I don’t want to go out there and risk injury. What are they going to say when I show up on Friday and hoop? It will all go back to normal…” However, actions speak louder than words. He could be saying this to get the heat off him, and we won’t really know until the Timberwolves play Golden State on Friday night.