Minnesota president and coach Tom Thibodeau decided late Friday night after a fifth straight loss that the team could no longer function with Butler as a part of it, sources said.
That is contingent, of course, on Butler's ability to get along with his younger teammates - something with which he seemed to struggle in Minnesota.
The Athletic reported Saturday that Minnesota has traded Butler and Justin Patton to Philadelphia for Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless in addition to a 2022 second-round draft pick. The teams will likely execute the trade on Monday.
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But according to an ESPN report, Thibodeau eventually came to the conclusion that the Butler drama was indeed too big of a distraction and chose to pull the trigger on a deal. He did name the Clippers, who are in position to have to max-contract free agency slots in 2019 and could wind up being the most affected.
Butler, who turned 29 on September 14, has been an All-Star in each of the last four seasons.
The deal comes after Butler turned down a four-year, $110 million extension from the Timberwolves during the offseason and was not moved after the Rockets reportedly offered four first-round picks to acquire him. He's a career 16.5 point-per-game scorer, though that is skewed by his first two seasons that were very meager on the scoring front.