We already thought the Minnesota Timberwolves were going to be good next season, at least better than they were in years past as their young core continued to mature. Now, with Jimmy Butler on the roster thanks to a trade with the Chicago Bulls, it appears that timeline has been accelerated.
Come July 1, it could get even crazier for Timberwolves fans.
Butler has already told the Associated Press that he is trying to recruit players who are better then him in free agency. While that leaves a lot to the imagination — and it’s hard to see who else they could get who is even better than Butler himself — one rumor has Kyle Lowry as a potential target.
Ricky Rubio has been on and off the trade block over the past few seasons, but the Timberwolves are also apparently okay if they end up having to keep him. Lowry is the superior player, and has had a career renaissance as a member of the Toronto Raptors. Minnesota could potentially have enough space to sign him outright after waving Jordan Hill. The Timberwolves now have $19 million in cap space heading into July.
Adding Lowry to Minnesota would immediately make them a contender for a top five position in the Western Conference. The West was tough enough before the Butler trade, but if both he and Lowry switch conferences and head to the same team, that’s a yet another concentration of talent in that conference.
It’s just a rumor at this point, but if both Trevor Ariza and James Harden can lobby Chris Paul to join the Houston Rockets, I wouldn’t put it past Butler to be politicking hard to get players like Lowry over in Minnesota.
Rumors are swirling and things are heating up just a few days before free agency officially opens. Things have already been crazy, so I expect July 1-4 to be pretty insane.