Report: Timberwolves had offers from Rockets, Pelicans on the table before trading Jimmy Butler to Sixers
The Minnesota Timberwolves had three key suitors before they agreed to trade Jimmy Butler on Saturday afternoon after a 4-9 start to the season. The Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans rivaled the Philadelphia 76ers for a potential trade, hoping to pounce on the clear lack of chemistry within this group and mend some subpar starts of their own, according to Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
It was the unwillingness to trade Butler to a Western Conference team that ultimately made the Timberwolves pull the trigger and accept the Sixers’ offer after the Miami Heat pulled young 3-and-D star Josh Richardson from a potential deal.
The Wolves reportedly had final offers from these three teams on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and had a few days to deliberate, with the team’s five-game losing streak being the metaphorical straw that broke the camel’s back — convincing president/head coach Tom Thibodeau that his plan to attempt to keep Butler through a good record was no longer possible.
The Pelicans’ package was headlined by Nikola Mirotic and an unprotected first-round draft pick, while the Rockets’ proposal had struggling marksman Eric Gordon, veteran forward Nene and two first-round picks, after initially lining out a bevy of first-round picks to convince the Wolves. The Sixers ultimately gave the Timberwolves a package centered around Robert Covington and Dario Saric, leaving Minnesota to deliberate, as owner Glen Taylor put the final touches on the deal.
Jerryd Bayless and a second-round pick come as additional compensation and a salary filler, while the Wolves remained unable to move Gorgui Dieng’s beefy contract while also sending center Justin Patton to Philly alongside Jimmy Butler, erasing any remnants from a regrettable draft night trade in 2017.