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Bulls beat writer: Timberwolves a 'team to focus on' for potential Jimmy Butler trade (updated)

It remains a long-shot, but the Timberwolves are one of the favorites to land Jimmy Butler if he is indeed traded Thursday.

For the second straight year the Jimmy Butler and Timberwolves rumors just keep on coming.

Last year's NBA Draft was when the rumored connection between Butler and Minnesota started. It came directly from one of the NBA's most credible writers, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. His news-breaking tweets have been coined "Woj bombs" by his followers. On draft night of 2016 he got a lot of Timberwolves fans' hopes up:

But this year, it's Chicago Bulls beat-writer Nick Friedell acting as the rumor-starter. Friedell covers the Chicago area and the NBA for ESPN.com.

Friedell was a featured guest on Thursday morning's Sportscenter. He claimed the Suns and Wolves are "teams to focus on" as potential trade partners for Jimmy Butler.

With regard to the Wolves, there's a connection between coach Tom Thibodeau and Butler. Thibodeau coached him for four seasons during his tenure with the Chicago Bulls.

Freidell warns, though, that Butler "probably won't" be dealt before the draft, but this is going to be a huge story to watch today.

However, as attractive a player as Butler is, the Wolves aren't just going to give away their seventh-overall pick.

"In all likelihood, the picks are so valuable at this time of year that you end up wanting to keep the pick," Wolves GM Scott Layden said. "This has a chance to be a historic draft."

It would take a top talent like Jimmy Butler to entice the Timberwolves to give up the valuable top-10 pick along with any additional players.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, we now have two new 2017 "Woj bombs" concerning Timberwolves' draft day rumors.

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