For all of the offseason chatter about where Jimmy Butler will end up, the swingman still remains a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, though still a disgruntled one. The 29-year-old still appears to be trying to force the team’s hand into trading him.
Butler, who did not play Wednesday due to soreness, played 35 minutes Friday against the Golden State Warriors. He said he will decide whether he plays in road games against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
“I let them know,” Butler said. “They don’t know how my body feels. So if I’m nicked up, then you can count on that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know what we plan on doing tomorrow. Obviously, I got to get some treatment along with a lot of other guys. But we’ll see whenever Sunday and Monday gets here.”
ESPN’s NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported this week that “teams talking to Minnesota about trades say that the asking price remains steep.” Wojnarowski had earlier reported that the Houston Rockets were offering four first-round picks for Butler.
Butler isn’t the only player looking to move on from his team. J.R. Smith, who remains on the Cleveland Cavaliers despite a rebuilding effort after the departure of LeBron James, said Thursday that he hopes to be traded.
“They know,” Smith said in reference to the Cavs’ front office. “They don’t want me here, so they obviously know.”
Smith, who will be fined for the comments, is earning $14.7 million in 2018-19. The 33-year-old has logged just 48 total minutes in eight games this season.
Given their 1-7 record on the season, the Cavs are expected to consider deals for veterans Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and George Hill before the trade deadline as the team tries to build around younger players.
In a more minor development, the Philadelphia 76ers declined the $2.03 million third-year option on 21-year-old forward Furkan Korkmaz, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Sources told Keith Pompey of Philly.com that Korkmaz has requested a trade.
The native of Turkey was drafted in 2016 by the Sixers with the No. 26 pick. Korkmaz sat out 43 games in 2017-18 with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot but has played in just 19 games in two seasons.