Minnesota Timberwolves: Is Tom Thibodeau … quitting?

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

"According to multiple league sources, coach Tom Thibodeau has no intention of letting Butler go for young, rebuilding-type pieces", Deveney wrote Thursday. Wiggins remains signed with the Timberwolves through 2023. Wiggins, meanwhile, has been said to be bothered by being relegated to the team's third offensive option behind Butler and Towns. It was in that meeting that Butler expressed a desire to be traded, telling Thibodeau that he does not intend to sign a long-term extension with the Wolves next summer.

With under a week to go before players report to their respective franchise, a Butler trade could send the start of the National Basketball Association season into a wild place. This time, they say they will wait for the summer of 2019, when Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard could be among the free agents - even if one of them suddenly became available by trade now. There's no guarantee that Irving would want to return to Cleveland, regardless of his relationship with Butler. Players signed this summer can't be traded until at least December 15 (and, in specific instances, January 15), which greatly reduces Minnesota's flexibility to make the best deal it can for one of the league's elite wing players.

"I just don't think there have been many people that have understood how important winning is to me, man, " Butler told the Sun-Times in late April.

The Clips will be able to offer two max contracts to free agents next summer.

Butler's impact on the Wolves was easy to see last season.

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The Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets are the other teams reportedly on Butler's wish list.

Butler remains a star player who has an unquestioned work ethic on the floor, but he turned 29 last week and has played in all 82 regular-season games only once in seven seasons. He reportedly wants out of Minnesota partly because he's tiring of the lax attitudes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

But should Taylor dismiss Thibodeau immediately if he refuses to trade Butler in the short term?

Ed Davis signed with Brooklyn on a one-year deal on July 23, meaning he can not be traded before December 15, per Larry Coon's NBA Salary Cap FAQ.

Timberwolves media day is set for Monday at Target Center.

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