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Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets

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After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.

Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.

The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.

Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.

The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves, Ryan Saunders Agree to Deal

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Ryan Saunders and Minnesota are nearing agreement on a multi-year deal to make him the Timberwolves coach, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

Ryan Saunders has reached agreement on a multiyear deal to become the new head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Frank Ntilikina ‘desires a relocation’ from Knicks

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With the possibility of a trade looming, Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina dropped CAA as his agency last season and planned to sign with French agent Bouna Ndiaye, the Daily News has learned.

Ntilikina, who was drafted eighth overall by Knicks in 2017, is on the trading block and desires a relocation, a source told the News. The Knicks declined offers to move Ntilikina at the trade deadline in February, acquired another point guard in Dennis Smith Jr., and Ntilikina quickly decided to change agents.

Ndiaye, who is from France, exclusively reps French players in the NBA — Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Nicolas Batum (Hornets), Evan Fournier (Magic) and Ian Mahinmi (Wizards). CAA, meanwhile, is one of the biggest NBA agencies.

Source: Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

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Sources: James Ennis to Decline Player Option

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Philadelphia 76ers swingman James Ennis (@JamesDa_Truth) will decline his $1.8M player option for next season and become a free agent, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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