While Thibodeau said the team is working quickly and diligently to fulfill Butler's trade request, "our job is to seek out the best opportunity for us."
"If something is good for us, then we're interested in doing it. If not, we're ready to move forward the other way," Thibodeau said, while mentioning that Butler needs another week or so to do some rehab and conditioning work.
The comments, made at the team's facility during media day, came a little less than a week after reports emerged that Butler had requested a trade -- the first time Butler had approached his longtime coach with that request, according to Thibodeau.
Butler, a four-time All-Star, was given the OK by the team not to participate in media day.
Butler mentioned specific teams he'd like to be sent to, but Thibodeau said he was clear in telling his star player that he'd have to do what was best for the team, regardless of Butler's wishes.
He would prefer a trade to the LA Clippers and has a strong interest in the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, league sources have told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota about a trade include the Nets, Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, league sources told Wojnarowski.
There's been speculation that Butler clashed with some of his other high-profile teammates, including Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, and Thibodeau's comments didn't necessarily refute that notion.
"There are many people who say all the right things and never do any of the right things. And sometimes a player might say something and it might not be the right tone, but it is the right message. So when I look at what was the impact [of having Butler], it was huge," Thibodeau said, adding that he always knew there was risk involved in trading for Butler given his contract situation.
"To win 47 games? To me, the impact he had was great. To see the building sold out, to see the interest in the team and the way it worked on the floor ... we won 47 games and Jimmy missed something like 25 games. The winning was what brought everyone's value up."
Also sparking that speculation: The fact that Towns' decision to sign a five-year, $190 million extension came shortly after Butler's trade request. But Towns merely chalked that up to "very awkward," coincidental timing, saying that Butler's decision -- or the choice to trade him -- had nothing to do with Towns signing his extension.
"Our relationship was fine. We had a common understanding that we both wanted to win," Towns said of Butler. Instead, Towns said he wanted to talk with owner Glen Taylor about a number of organizational issues before agreeing to sign his massive extension.
Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden -- who brought his cellphone to the podium just in case he received any important calls or texts involving Butler -- distanced themselves from reports that they aren't on the same page with Taylor concerning Butler. Thibodeau did concede that there's never an ideal time to have to trade a player of Butler's magnitude. But he said Butler is "a top-10 player in the league," and he holds considerable trade value.
"If it's a good deal, we're interested. Glen, Scott, myself, I think we've made that clear to everyone. I think Jimmy understands, and the team understands," Thibodeau said.