Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is keen to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves before the start of the 2018-19 season. In this picture, Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 25, 2017. Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves are dragging their feet when it comes to Jimmy Butler’s trade request, but the player, despite the delay has not had a change of heart and is keen to ensure the trade happens sooner rather than later.

The Wolves shooting guard made the request to president and coach Tom Thibodeau almost three weeks back, but is yet to see any progress made despite interest from a number of franchises. Butler’s representatives are said to be frustrated and are feeling the team is intentionally holding up a potential move before the start of the new season.

The Miami Heat are said to be Butler’s preferred destination, and reports suggested an agreement with the franchise was close to being reached before it broke down after Minnesota changed their demands. The Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers were also credited with interest in signing the shooting guard.

According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, Butler met with coach Thibodeau on Monday and reiterated his desire to be traded before the start of the season, which is in just about a week’s time. He has not practiced with the team and missed all of their pre-season matches in the hope he will not have to wear the Wolves jersey again this season.

“Jimmy Butler has returned to Minnesota and, in a meeting with president and coach Tom Thibodeau, reiterated his desire to traded according to league sources,” Krawczynski said. “Butler has not practiced with the team since training camp opened on Sept. 25, just over a week after he first met with Thibodeau to personally deliver his trade request. The Wolves have had conversations with a number of teams, most notably the Miami Heat, but have yet to close a deal."

“Butler worked out in Minneapolis on Monday and talked with Thibodeau, making clear that nothing has changed in the last three weeks. It remains unclear when, or if, he will join the team in practice as they prepare for the season opener at San Antonio on Oct. 17,” he added.

He, however, said Minnesota’s stance has not changed with the franchise preparing for their season opener against the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 17 with Butler as part of their team.

The trade deadline is Feb. 7 and teams have until then to make a move for Butler, but the Wolves’ demands for quality veterans, top prospects, future assets and salary-cap relief in a potential trade is putting off interested franchises.

The Rockets remain in the race despite Miami being the shooting guard’s preferred destination and Butler could make the last season Western Conference top seeds genuine challengers to Golden State Warriors’ dominance in recent years.