By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler requested a trade earlier in the week. However, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau is refusing to make a deal.
Thibodeau, who previously coached Butler with the Chicago Bulls, is attempting to convince him to stay with the team. However, reports on Saturday suggest that team owner Glen Taylor told executives to reach out to him personally to make a deal.
The growing disconnect between Minnesota’s ownership and front office has created an impression for opposing teams that a showdown between Taylor and Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves’ president of basketball operations and head coach, looms as an increasingly plausible conclusion to Butler’s trade request.
“The owner’s trading him,” one board of governors attendee told ESPN on Friday. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.”
“He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Scott Layden, GM] and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,’” another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Butler has reportedly clashed with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. He reportedly says that Wiggins has no heart and isn’t a “dog.”
Butler was acquired by the Timberwolves in June 2017 in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. He even turned down a four-year, $100 million extension with the team in July 2018.
The 29-year-old Houston, Texas native has played with the Bulls and Timberwolves in his career. He spent his first six seasons of his career in Chicago.
In 399 games with the Bulls, including 294 starts, he averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. In 59 games with the Timberwolves, all starts, he averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game.
Butler will reportedly miss the team’s media day and the start of training camp amid his trade request from the team.
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