Jimmy Butler Details Night He Was Traded to Timberwolves on Bill Simmons Podcast

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, MN - JUNE 29: Tom Thibobeau introduces Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves to the public during a press conference at the Mall of America on June 29, 2017 in Bloomington, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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While the NBA universe was abuzz stateside when Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night June 22, the three-time All-Star told The Ringer's Bill Simmons he was across the pond in Paris when the deal went down.             

Appearing on the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Butler revealed he was playing spades with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union when he was notified a trade was in the works. 

"I was in Paris, the night that it happened," Butler said. "We were playing some cards — me, Melo, Gab, D-Wade. I'm not going to talk about the outcome of the game because everybody has a different story, obviously.

"... And my agent called me, and he said, 'Hey, I think you're about to get moved to Minnesota.' And I said, 'OK, cool. I'm going to get back to my spades game.' Because I can't really control [a trade]. It’s out of my control. I try to control what I can control. … And then he calls me [again], 'You just got traded to Minnesota.'"

The blockbuster, which signaled the start of the Chicago Bulls' rebuild, also propelled the Timberwolves into a more esteemed tier of contention in the Western Conference. 

As things stand, Minnesota has the eighth-highest win-total over/under (46.5) among NBA teams, according to OddsShark, while that mark ranks fifth among Western Conference clubs behind the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, respectively. 

With expectations skyrocketing, the pressure will be on Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to lead by example and propel the Timberwolves to their first playoff appearance since 2004.   

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