But the stubborn nature of the Wolves' president of basketball operations and head coach could become an issue following Butler's request this week to be traded by Minnesota.
The Timberwolves gave up considerable assets during the 2017 NBA Draft to reunite Butler with Thibodeau, his long-time coach with the Chicago Bulls, trading away Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the rights to 2017 No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen.
Either way, though, opposing executives seem to think there is no way the Minnesota Timberwolves try to see it through with their star swingman.
Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade, and there's one destination that appears to appeal to him most. Butler has been frustrated at times with both Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the No. 1 picks in the 2014 and 2015 drafts, respectively.
Butler, 29, has a player option in 2019-20 before becoming a free-agent. Towns and Wiggins are great players and at this point better than Butler. And if Minnesota struggles to make the playoffs, or misses it altogether, this season, Thibodeau's time in Minneapolis could come to a close.
Bearing all this in mind, which teams could present a tempting trade offer for the Timberwolves while also standing a chance of re-signing him in free agency?
PRO: Putting Butler, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and whatever combination of Gordon Hayward and young players (whomever doesn't get traded among Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum) on the floor makes Boston the favorite to win the East. "He's a star player here in NY, and the plan is to keep him here long-term".
Butler told Thibodeau on Wednesday that he wants to be traded, ideally to a team of his choice where he and Irving can presumably pursue their idea of a championship venture. Butler didn't have LeBron on his list of teams he'd like to be traded to. As for the Timberwolves who dealt him?
Because over the six-month span from November to April, that was the only Towns basket Butler assisted during clutch situations (a game within five points in the final five minutes).
Taking on one of their less desirable contracts, like center Gorgui Dieng (he'll earn $48.5 million over the next three seasons), could be enticing enough for the Wolves to bite.