The Minnesota Timberwolves offered guard Jimmy Butler a contract extension worth over a $100 million and Butler said no thanks. That was his way of saying he won’t be staying in Minnesota for the foreseeable future.
Butler has been in recent rumors and all of them include him leaving the Wolves. He apparently wants to team up with Kyrie Irving next summer and one team that may land them is the New York Knicks. They have had garnered interest as of late and with Kristaps Porzingis on the roster, players want to join him in New York.
Losing Jimmy Butler will set the Timberwolves back a few years. He brought them toughness, a reliable scorer and a defensive edge. Without him, they will not be able to contend in the Western Conference for a playoff spot. But they won’t be able to appease him because what he wants is a new team.
Certain players on the Timberwolves has rubbed Butler the wrong way. Andrew Wiggins isn’t competitive in Butler’s eyes. Also Karl-Anthony Towns lack of passion has left Butler feeling a type of way. The playoff series against the Houston Rockets may have been the icing on the cake.
Towns was being treated like an amateur basketball player by the Rockets. They made it almost impossible for Towns to score and went after him on offense. Towns is an elite offensive player but him being on the bench would have helped the Timberwolves more. A first round exit by the Wolves is a good reason to walk away especially if you don’t see the team going far in the playoffs.
Expect the Timberwolves to salvage Butler’s foreseaable departure by trying to trade him. Declining to sign an extension will anger the owners and they will try to get rid of him instead of letting him walk and get nothing back in return. That may be futile because teams won’t give up much for a player that is planning to test his freedom the upcoming summer.
Adding Butler gave the Wolves much needed toughness. If he does leave, they will lose their newfound identity and that is going to ruin the franchise. They finally made the playoffs last year but it looks like they won’t be making the playoffs for a while.