This was never intended to be a bet for this coming season, and is backed by little research besides the fact that Jimmy Butler (the team’s star player) requested a trade today after meeting with team president Tom Thibodeau. Butler greatly changed the prospects of the franchise when he was traded for prior to last season – taking the team to their first postseason in fourteen years.
With Butler, the Timberwolves were a top four playoff seed in a stacked Western Conference. But, whilst he missed 17 games with an injured right knee towards the end of the season the team had an 8-9 record and only ended up making the playoffs as the eighth seed – having secured their first playoff appearance in over a decade in an overtime thriller against the eventual ninth-seeded Denver Nuggets. Because of this, I can see Minnesota not to making the playoffs. At 2/1 with Skybet (now 6/4), this seems good value should Butler make a run for it. Even if he was to remain with the Wolves, this whole debacle is sure to unsettle the team – adding to what was already a disgruntled locker room at the end of last season.
With Butler’s time with the Wolves seemingly coming to an end after a paltry 59 games, the teams hopes of playing postseason basketball in back-to-back years seems slim. Butler has told the Minnesota front office he will only sign an extension if traded to the Nets, Clippers or Knicks – should he be traded to one of these destinations, what would be gained in exchange would be unlikely to see the team as strong as it was with Jimmy Butler on the court.
2/1 is an absolute steal with Skybet. The price will be gone before long – with Paddy Power having already slashed the odds on the T-Wolves missing the playoffs to just 6/5. GET ON ASAP!
UPDATE: Shortened to 6/4 with Skybet an hour after posting. Paddy Power cut to 5/6 two hours later.