Jimmy Butler trade request: Wolves guard determined to join Clippers and wants to bring in second star, report says

On Wednesday, Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler reportedly informed the team that he wants to be traded, sending contenders into a mad scramble to see what kind of packages they can put together for the All-NBA talent. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Butler's top three preferred destinations are the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.

After the dust settled for a few hours, Wojnarowski further reported that Butler has the Clippers at the top of his list, and is intrigued by the idea of Los Angeles bringing in a second star next summer with their ample cap room.

Butler would be a fine piece to build around in the post-Lob City era for the Clippers, and we already outlined one trade scenario that could entice the Timberwolves. But this is good news for the Clippers even if they don't end up trading for him, because Butler is highly likely to opt out of his contract and become a free agent next July.

That means the Clippers could sign him to a long-term deal without having to give up an asset in the process, making them an even more attractive destination for an exceptional 2019 free agent class. Kawhi Leonard already reportedly has his sights set on the Clippers, and he and Butler could form one of the most formidable two-way duos in the NBA.

We must take this with a grain of salt, however, as we've seen plenty of "preferred destinations" slowly deteriorate over time. Most recently Paul George, who all but told everyone he wanted to sign with the Lakers, re-upped in Oklahoma City on the first day of free agency. Anything can happen between now and July, but it can't hurt the Clippers to know they're in the driver's seat ... at least for now.

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