Minnesota Timberwolves Rumor: Does Jimmy Butler have eyes for Brooklyn?

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 5: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 5: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

As if Minnesota Timberwolves fans didn’t have enough to be anxious about, there’s now a developing Jimmy Butler-to-Brooklyn rumor.

On Wednesday, Jason McIntyre of Fox Sports appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd to talk about a number of topics, but when the conversation shifted to Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics, it suddenly included Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Jimmy Butler as well.

McIntyre and Cowherd first agreed that Irving could simply walk away from Boston next year rather than sign an extension. It would be a mild surprise, given that Boston is a true championship contender with a young core of talent and the Celtics are an attractive franchise to play for, but Irving doesn’t seem to play by anybody’s rules.

(Take a listen to his recent appearance on The Ringer’s Bill Simmons Podcast, and you’ll understand just how much Irving believes in players living their own personal journeys. That seems to line-up with what McIntyre and Cowherd are saying.)

With this week’s swap of Timofey Mozgov for Dwight Howard, the Nets are clearing enough to space to be able to afford two maximum contracts next offseason. Irving is from New Jersey, so it seems to make some sense that he’d be interested in joining the Nets in free agency, although I’d refer you back to the idea that Kyrie is, in fact, a wild card and it’s impossible to predict what he’ll actually want to do in 12 or 13 months.

But if that part of the equation happens, and Jimmy Butler opts out of his deal in Minnesota and doesn’t sign an extension, then he could join forces with Irving on the Nets, creating an intriguing superstar duo in a major market.

Here’s the clip from the show, including McIntyre citing a viral video of Butler and Irving singing Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” as a reason why Butler and Irving would want to play together.

While it’s a ridiculous thing to point out to try and prove the point that the two stars are “bros”, Timberwolves fans will remember that Minnesota was one of the four preferred landing spots that Irving reportedly gave to the Cavaliers front office when he was in the process of forcing his way out of Cleveland. (Of course, Boston wasn’t on that list, but that’s beside the point.) One could easily say that this had more to do with Butler than, say, Tom Thibodeau or the Twin Cities as a destination.

It’s obviously wayyy too early to truly consider this to be a legitimate rumor, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. We briefly discussed LINK the possibility of an early Butler extension earlier in the week, and while that would be everyone’s preference, everything is on the table if it doesn’t go down, and Timberwolves fans should brace themselves for a series of rumors over the next year or so.

Then again, if the Timberwolves could find a way to move Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague in the next 12 months and they extend both Butler and Towns, they could flip the script and become an attractive destination for Irving, among others.

There’s a lot that could take place this summer, and we’ll have to see if Thursday’s NBA Draft gives any more clarity to the situation. Who knows, as Cowherd says in the above clip, Danny Ainge could shock everyone and trade Irving today if he thinks that his superstar point guard will walk next summer.

Next: NBA Draft: 5 bold predictions for a potentially crazy night

Stay tuned.