Well, Monday’s Media Day just got a lot more interesting.
In a 3:30 a.m post Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski named the Nets as one of eight teams interested in talking to the Timberwolves about Jimmy Butler, but have been thwarted by internal disagreements between ownership and management on the four-time All-Star’s availability.
Although Woj reports that few, if any, teams “are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler,” there are others waiting till the dust clears on Minnesota’s intentions with Butler.
The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia and Portland are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
(Note the list is in alphabetical order and does not appear to suggest levels of interest.)
Separately, Darren Wolfson of ESPN1500 Radio in Minneapolis reported Toronto is also interested.
Later, Woj tweeted that Cleveland is also interested and the owners of the TWolves and Cavaliers were seen talking Friday at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York.
Separately, Darren Wolfson of ESPN1500 Radio in Minneapolis reported late Sunday that Toronto is also interest
Things could happen quickly, notes Woj. While president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau would rather try to mend fences with the 6’6” guard, “owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN.”
Earlier, The Athletic reported that Butler will not be at the team’s Media Day Monday or training camp which begins Tuesday.
All-Star Jimmy Butler has been granted permission to not participate in Minnesota Timberwolves‘ media day on Monday, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2018
Also on Saturday, in one indication that Butler’s exit is near, the TWolves announced the signing of Karl-Anthony Towns to a five-year, $190 million deal. KAT reportedly wanted the Butler situation cleared up before he would sign.
Butler, a four-time All-Star, two time All-NBA player and Olympic gold medalist, told Thibodeau earlier in the week that he wanted to be traded and offered three potential destinations: the Nets, Clippers and Knicks, but as Woj has reported, the Timberwolves do not feel bound by Butler’s wishes. The Knicks appear uninterested in pursuing Butler.
Woj says the Minnesota plan is to gather offers Sunday and Monday and then consult with Butler’s agent.
This way, the Wolves could learn which teams would interest Butler in signing an extension next summer, which is information that would allow the Wolves to get the best possible return.
There’s been no rumors about what Sean Marks might offer to the Timberwolves, but Zach Lowe suggested a deal that would have Brooklyn send Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe and Denver’s 1-12 protected first rounder to Minnesota for Butler and Gorgui Dieng, a 6’11” center/power forward who’s owed $48 million over the next three years.
The Timberwolves have long been interested in LeVert.
The larger issue with Butler would be his salary demands. He wants the maximum allowed, five years and $190 million, a deal that would pay him $40 million in Year 4 and $43 million in year 5 when he will be 34. Butler has led the league consistently in minutes and had meniscus surgery this season. Despite the injury, he averaged 22/5/5 in 59 games, shooting a career high 47.4 percent overall and 35 percent from deep.
Any trade for Butler would be the Nets biggest for single star since at least since the 2011 deal that brought Deron Williams to New Jersey or maybe since 2004 when Vince Carter arrived at the Meadowlands.
- Sources: Glen Taylor wants Jimmy Butler deal done in next several days - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN