Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau will reportedly meet with All-Star Jimmy Butler on Monday to discuss Butler’s future with the team.
In case you hadn’t heard, there is apparently some unhappiness running through the Minnesota Timberwolves organization.
If you somehow missed that Jimmy Butler was unhappy with Karl-Anthony Towns and questioned the want-to and effort of his young teammates, or that he turned down the Timberwolves’ initial maximum contract offer this summer, then let this be confirmation that all is not right in Wolves World.
The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski first reported that a sit-down between Butler, Butler’s agent, Tom Thibodeau, and general manager Scott Layden is scheduled for Monday.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski expanded on the story and added some of his own speculation. Here’s what Woj said, in part:
“Whatever needs to be communicated … will be,” one league source briefed on the meeting told ESPN.
The Butler-Towns tension is paramount, but it’s hardly the only organizational drama that’s threatening to undermine the franchise’s current structure. Owner Glen Taylor has significant concern with the broader franchise culture under Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden — so much so that Taylor considered changes in the offseason, league sources said. Taylor has privately second-guessed his decision to give Thibodeau full control of basketball operations as a part of hiring him as coach, league sources said.
From friction within the locker room to the basketball operations group’s poor relationship with the business side, Butler’s looming free agency only elevates the stakes for Thibodeau’s future. Thibodeau is starting the third year of a five-year deal.
Wow. Well, where to begin? Let’s take a stab at a few thoughts.
First: what took so long? All three of these guys are adults, and the season ended more than four months ago for the Wolves. I get that everyone took some vacation and Butler had plenty of obligations to attend to, but I dunno … have a conference call or a lunch meeting or something. Don’t wait until one week before training camp starts.
Second: it seems unlikely that this will be a trade request from Butler. He’s a free agent next summer anyways, and it’s too close to the season for the Wolves to be able to get anything of real value in return for their superstar as their leverage deteriorates by the day.
Of course, Butler’s value will grow again around the February trade deadline, but the only advantage that Butler would gain by being traded during the season is that his new team would then be the organization that could offer him the full max of $189.7 million over five years.
Currently, the Wolves are the only team that can offer that to Butler next summer, while everyone else can only fork over four years and $140.6 million. If Butler wants to get away from Minnesota that badly, then a deadline trade would accomplish that goal.
Lastly: it’s a bit odd that Butler, Thibs and Layden need to have a sit-down. Everything we’ve heard to this point has been that Butler’s beef is with the young players, presumably Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Butler and Thibodeau are supposedly two peas in a pod, and if they don’t see eye-to-eye then things are much worse than anyone imagined.
At any rate, this will be something to keep an eye on. If Butler’s agent wants the public to know what is discussed — and he surely will have an agenda to push — than we’ll surely hear something after the meeting takes place.
Source : https://dunkingwithwolves.com/2018/09/15/minnesota-timberwolves-jimmy-butler-requesting-trade/