Owner Glen Taylor reportedly said at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings that Butler is, in fact, available for trades, despite management informing inquiring teams that the 29-year-old is off limits, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
If any opposing executives are interested in landing Butler, Taylor added that they should contact him directly if they fail to get through to general manager Scott Layden.
"The owner's trading him," an unnamed Board of Governors attendee told ESPN. "That was made clear. It's just a matter of when."
Taylor has a storied track record when it comes to moving franchise centerpieces. He was heavily involved in the deals that sent Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics and Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Butler reportedly met with president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau in Los Angeles on Tuesday to vent his frustrations about the state of the team. He then formally requested a trade.
Butler has one more year remaining on his contract and a player option in 2019-20 which he could opt out of to enter unrestricted free agency next summer.
Thibodeau, however, is reportedly reluctant to part ways with Butler, as he doesn't want to be stuck in a rebuilding situation after coaching the roster to its first playoff appearance since 2004 last season.
Butler reportedly clashed with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns throughout last year's campaign and wasn't a fan of their respective attitudes and work ethic. As a result, Taylor reportedly doesn't want to deal with an entire season of inner turmoil.
If Butler were to remain in Minnesota or be shipped off, he'd be eligible for a five-year, $190-million max extension. If he leaves as a free agent, the most he could earn is $141 million over four years.