Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Minnesota Timberwolves: Report says Wolves are refusing Butler’s trade demands

Could Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard team up in LA with the Clippers Minnesota Timberwolves: Report says Wolves are refusing Butler’s trade demands
Kristopher Love | 23 September, 2018, 05:42

Sources familiar with the situation told Sporting News that Butler is uncertain about playing with Wiggins - Butler had problems last season with Wiggins, his work ethic and his approach on the defensive end of the floor.

Petty season in the National Basketball Association is back!

From the outside, it would appear that reported friction between Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns is the true reason the rift has become this big of an issue.

Jimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota. All three teams have the cap space to sign Butler to a maximum contract next summer should he reach free agency.

Nevertheless, it remains uncertain how much - if anything - the Clippers would trade for a player whom the team could sign this summer without surrendering any assets.

Kawhi Leonard #30 and Jimmy Butler #50 of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team talk during a practice session. |Aug. 10 2015- Source Ethan Miller  Getty Images North America

The Timberwolves also hope to unload the remaining $48 million on forward Gorgui Dieng's contract if they do indeed deal Butler.

The latter came with the No. 7 pick the Bulls acquired in the Butler trade - and maybe Markkanen was doing a little trolling on Twitter because of the recent news.

Towns' willingness to finally sign his max deal means that he nearly certainly has been assured he's never going to have to see Butler in the Wolves' locker room ever again. In his first season with the Wolves previous year, the four-time All-Star averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game to help the team improve by 16 wins from the season prior and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Butler and Towns led the way on the court but it's clear now they did not click off the court. Trading for a 29-year-old Butler and paying him $190 million until he's 34 may fall under the category of skipping steps. If the Nets front office is confident in that philosophy, they may be willing to open their pockets a bit more to get Butler in a Nets uniform this season.

Taylor's message stands in contrast to the message from Minnesota's front office.