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ESPN reporter ‘often around’ Jimmy Butler says he’s gone in a year

Wolves, Jimmy Butler

Despite the constant optimism emanating from Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau regarding the state of his star player, Jimmy Butler, those close to the situation don’t have as good a gut feeling as he does relative to his status with the Wolves.

ESPN’s Nick Friedell, who covered the Chicago Bulls as a beat writer in the past few years and lately the Wolves since Butler was traded, noted he thinks Butler’s time in Minnesota is counting down as the days pass.

“Being around that [Timberwolves] team a lot last year, I think Jimmy is probably going to be gone a year from right now some where else and there is the problem,” said Friedell as a guest of ESPN’s The Jump. “I think [head coach] Tom [Thibodeau] is gotta have that honest conversation, whether it comes now or iin a few months and say ‘Do you really wanna be here?’ and if Jimmy is kind of like ‘ehhh, we’ll see,’ then I would make the move. Knowing how Tom the way I have been covering him the last few years, I don’t think he would do that.”

“I think the Timberwolves are stuck with what they have right now and the problem is they’re going to be stuck with Towns and Wiggins if Jimmy leaves — and that team is not good enough.”

Butler has been reportedly fed up with how his younger teammates handling competition so nonchalantly, enough to make him consider teaming up with fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving as potential members of the New York Knicks during next offseason.

The Knicks are hoping to free up enough cap space to bring in star-level talent, but an impending extension for Kristaps Porzingis could make that much more challenging.

Even if the two aren’t teamed up together, Butler could still seek out of Minnesota if his young teammates, namely Towns and Wiggins, fail to show the fire Butler wants them to display on a nightly basis.