But before the start of the latest campaign, the relationship between Butler and the organization infamously dissolved beyond repair. The four-time All-Star was ultimately dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 12, ending the most fruitful stretch of Timberwolves basketball in more than a decade.
Derrick Rose, who reunited with his former Chicago Bulls teammate Butler in Minnesota, said Butler's fallout with the organization stemmed from the lucrative extensions signed by younger teammates.
"Look, it wasn’t his fault. It’s the league's fault," Rose wrote of Butler's acrimonious departure in an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, "I'll Show You," which was obtained by the StarTribune's Michael Rand.
"Nothing against Karl-Anthony Towns, he's cool - and he's good. But you get these kids and you spoil them before they achieve something."
Towns, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2015, is set to begin the five-year, $158.1-million contract extension he signed in September. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in 2014, is heading into Year 2 of the five-year, $146.5-million max deal he signed in 2017.
According to Rose, the timing of those extensions did not sit well with Butler.
"Jimmy was feeling, 'Why'd y'all pay them first and I was the one that got you to the playoffs?' That’s all it was," Rose added. "Jimmy wasn’t doing it (the trade request) right, though he was right."
Butler, who helped lift the 76ers to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals this season, is widely expected to decline his player option for the 2019-20 campaign in search of a huge payday in free agency.