Jimmy Butler will reportedly meet with the Timberwolves today to discuss his future in Minnesota. It’s no secret Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have tension. Towns has yet to sign his rookie-scale contract extension.
Apparently, the dots connect.
There’s been a lot of uncertainty around Jimmy Butler all summer. He hasn’t been back to Minnesota. This is going to be a telltale week for him. Very much so, I’m told, this a last-ditch meeting for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Tom Thibodeau, and how they respond and how Jimmy responds to it will be interesting.
Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s one of the top talents in the league, has yet to sign to sign his rookie max extension, which should be a no-brainer. And I’m told there won’t be any decision on that until this Jimmy Butler situation resolves itself.
If Minnesota must choose between Towns and Butler, Towns – six years younger and much healthier – is the clear choice. I think, even with his affection for former Bulls, Thibodeau knows that.
The bigger question: Can Thibodeau get everyone on the same page? It’d be ideal for the Timberwolves to keep both their stars.
Butler can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and if he doesn’t sign an extension by 6 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 15, Towns will be a restricted free agent next summer. So, there’s little risk of losing Towns soon. But if letting Butler leave is required to keep Towns long-term, it’d be better to trade Butler now rather than letting him walk for nothing next offseason.
Today’s meeting could provide clarity, but one way or another, Minnesota is clearly in a tough spot.