Timberwolves in Disarray as Jimmy Butler Ponders Future
Four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler reportedly met with Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations/coach Tom Thibodeau on Monday, per ESPN.
In the context of Butler’s final contract year and his upcoming free agency, the two met to discuss the team. Jimmy Butler and his agent, Bernie Lee, spoke to Thibodeau about the fragile state of the franchise.
A major issue is apparently the rivalry between Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. The strained relationship may lead Butler to hit the free agent market rather than re-signing with Minnesota.
The Timberwolves can offer Butler a max contract for five years, worth $189.7 million. The team is also negotiation a rookie contract extension with Towns that could be completed soon. If it’s one or the other, Minnesota could trade Butler in February rather than losing him in July.
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The relationship between Butler and Towns isn’t the only point of contention in Minnesota. Owner Glen Taylor reportedly isn’t wild about Thibodeau and General manager Scott Laden.
Taylor also considered changing them for someone else in the offseason, and doubts remain. How Thibodeau resolves the Butler situation could have big ramifications for the franchise going forward.
The bad news for Thibodeau is that Butler will have plenty of options should he decide to leave Minnesota. The four teams in New York and Los Angeles have six maximum contract slots available. Should Butler enter free agency, he will have big contracts being thrown at him left, right and center.
Although, being surrounded by players who will help him achieve postseason success is the most important factor for Butler.
Butler signed for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2017. The team traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a No. 7 overall pick for him.
Last year, Minnesota qualified for the playoffs on the last night of the regular season. It was the first time in 13 years that they reached the postseason.