The relationship between Jimmy Butler and his Minnesota Timberwolves teammates has reportedly deteriorated to the point that this week’s meeting between him and Minnesota’s front office is considered a “last-ditch” effort to salvage the situation heading into the season.
Shams Charania of The Athletic said on Stadium that Butler is “seriously contemplating” his future with the Timberwolves. Butler and young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins reportedly butted heads throughout last season, according to Charania.
Charania described head coach Tom Thibodeau as being “in the middle” between Butler, who he previously coached with the Chicago Bulls, and the young players.
Butler addressed the rumor on Twitter:
“exactly why people need to stop believing what you see on the internet.. I didn’t have no damn meeting today… its tomorrow.. i wonder what else people write and people believe hmmm…”
The Bulls traded Butler, 29, to the Timberwolves last summer after he spent his first six seasons in Chicago. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists with Minnesota, but he missed 23 games due to injury. The Timberwolves nonetheless reached the postseason for the first time since 2003-04.
Finding a quick solution here is paramount because Butler is heading into the final year of his contract. If the Wolves and Butler can’t find a workable solution heading into the season, they should look to trade him.
Trading for Butler and signing Taj Gibson was supposed to give the T-Wolves more stability. Instead, it has seemingly created even more of a fracture in the locker room.
Thibodeau has also brought former Bulls Derrick Rose and Luol Deng to Minnesota. There seems to be a clear division, or at least a glaring signal that Thibodeau is unhappy with the team’s culture and is attempting to rectify that by adding “his” guys.
This meeting might be Thibs’ last chance to convince Butler the team is changing for the better. Otherwise, Butler may be heading elsewhere soon.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report