The Timberwolves have an owner in Glen Taylor, president-coach in Tom Thibodeau and general manager in Scott Layden.
And they have a disgruntled star in Jimmy Butler, whom many teams want to trade for.
There’s a lot of people within the league who do not know who to talk to. And there’s different people who have different stances on what it’s going to take to pry themselves from Jimmy. So, that has caused a lot of confusion around the league.
Minnesota has executed just two trades under the Thibodeau-Laden front office. One was with the Bulls, Thibodeau’s former team, for Butler. The other sent Ricky Rubio to Utah, where Scott Layden worked for many years (though that was nearly two decades ago, and the Jazz have obviously had vast turnover since).
Generally, Layden would be the point man on trade talks, leaving Thibodeau to focus on coaching until inquiries became more serious. Taylor would sign off on anything.
But this Butler saga is such a huge moment for the franchise. Thibodeau and Taylor should be deeply involved.
Talks between the Timberwolves and Heat broke down over the weekend – even after discussions reached the ownership level, though Taylor is reportedly telling his front office to deal Butler. So, there’s some confusion.
But I also sense rival teams want to instill enough sense of disarray that Taylor, tired of the drama, steps in to trade Butler for less than the stubborn Thibodeau would. Maybe potential trade partners aren’t as befuddled about whom in Minnesota to contract, but more disappointed they can’t lure Taylor further into the picture.