The trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves was arguably the biggest in the Minnesota Timberwolves short and sad history.
Losing 2x Slam Dunk champion, rising star and fan favourite Zach Lavine may have stung for most fans, and may continue to sting if Lavine reaches the lofty heights that Wolves fans expect from the UCLA product, as well a potential filled guard in Kris Dunn.
All this pain can be easily forgotten though when we cast our minds to the man received in the trade; Jimmy Butler. The basic and advanced statistics all work favourably for ‘Jimmy G. Buckets’, but what the Timberwolves are really looking for and really lacking is a veteran leader, one the Timberwolves haven’t had since Kevin Garnett, one who can show the young core how it’s done; on and off the court.
Timberwolves fans have seen a lot of their teams veterans over the last few years lack the on-court production, the off-court leadership is there but they were simply far past their prime or role players who couldn’t help as much as needed on-court (39 Year Old Garnett, Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Rush, Cole Aldrich etc.)
This is where Jimmy Butler sits in a class that may only contain one other Wolves player; Kevin Garnett (The first time around) where the veteran leader of the team is also the most productive member on the court.
Butlers record off court is largely exceptional, a minor spat with the Bulls Front Office is the only blemish, and we all know how trying the Chicago Front Office can be (See Thibs’ exit from the Franchise).
Growing up homeless and learning to mature at a very young age has seen Butler become a very level headed and reliable personality in the NBA landscape.
Showing this young, talented core how to grow in to polished players, but also polished people will go a long way in bringing winning basketball back to Minnesota, he talked about what he and coach Tom Thibodeau can bring to Minnesota when talking to TwinCities.com.
“I think everybody’s going to get tired of Thibs’ voice every now and again. I’ll tell you that. That raspy voice, I love it, but I hate it sometimes, too,” Butler said. “That’s when I come in. I know what he expects. I know what I expect, and they probably know what they expect of themselves. But with that said, when you put me and him together, and we’re both teaching, preaching greatness, and the techniques of everything. … I’ve got Thibs’ back, he has mine, and we’re going to be in this thing together.” he said.
A sure indication that Jimmy G. Buckets is ready to do more than just get buckets for Minnesota, and we can’t wait to see it.
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View the original article on Howlin' T-Wolf: Can Jimmy Butler be the leader Minnesota needs?