Thibodeau, who coached Butler in Chicago from his rookie campaign in 2011-12 to his two consecutive All-Star appearances and three consecutive All-NBA Defensive second team, is reportedly trying to use the Timberwolves' No. 5 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft in a trade for the 26-year-old wing.
Though the Bulls aren't said to be actively looking to trade Butler, general manager Gar Forman said "we have to explore all options" when asked about the All-Star's future with the team after his team failed to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
The Boston Celtics, armed with the No. 3 pick in the draft and a load of cheap yet valuable assets, are also in the running for Butler.
Even without Butler in the fold, the future is bright for Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns just had one of the most impressive Rookie of the Year seasons in history, Andrew Wiggins averaged 20.7 points on efficient shooting as a 20-year-old NBA sophomore, and Zach LaVine has a deal with the devil that excludes him from the general rules of gravity.
In order to land Butler, who signed a relatively team friendly five-year, $95 million contract last year, Minnesota would likely have to part with point guard Ricky Rubio, the fifth pick, and one of or a combination of youngesters LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, Nemanja Bjelica, Shabazz Muhammad, and Tyus Jones.
When Thibodeau was hired by the Timberwolves this summer, Butler said he was both great and tough to play for.
"He knows what he's doing," Butler said. "He's very smart. He studies the game. And he'll do whatever it takes to win."