Jimmy Butler Deflects LA Questions: 'I'm in Minnesota for the Time Being'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler, right, shoots as Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 120-109. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

With his team in the City of Angels for a clash with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler had no interest in feeding the speculation that he may one day play his home games at the Staples Center.

"I'm in Minnesota for the time being," Butler told reporters after a 120-109 loss. "I'll enjoy the sunshine for a couple days, and then if we go back there, we go back there."

Butler went 6-of-13 from the floor for 20 points and added five assists and four rebounds in a losing effort.

The possibility of a move to L.A. was an unavoidable topic as Minnesota played a two-game stretch at the Staples Center this week. However, Butler's only focus is on basketball:

"I just hoop. I play basketball. I go out there, and I try to win home or away. I think that's my job. I'm not worried about nothing—none of that. You [reporters] continue to ask those questions, but it's not going to change how I go about the game. It's not going to change how I interact with guys in this locker room. We'll be just fine."

Back when Butler requested a trade ahead of training camp, ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the four-time All-Star was "most interested" in pursuing a future with the Clippers. The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets were also on the guard's shortlist of teams, according to Wojnarowski.

The Clippers may be an attractive option to Butler because they will have room for two max contracts next summer. That could allow him to team up with another star, such as Kawhi Leonard, who also reportedly wants to be in Los Angeles.

While Butler may want to land in Hollywood, the Miami Heat (per Wojnarowski) and the Houston Rockets (per Wojnarowski) have reportedly been the most aggressive teams in trade talks to this point. However, Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves have yet to pull the trigger on a deal.

Butler now must play the waiting game to see if his trade request is ultimately fulfilled. Even if the Timberwolves don't deal him to L.A., the impending free agent will have the opportunity to pick where he wants to play come next summer.