Jimmy Butler to skip Timberwolves' media day

Lynette Rowe
September 23, 2018

Shocker, Jimmy Butler has pissed off more people in another city and has demanded a trade from the Timberwolves.

Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau is apparently reluctant to deal his star, and even if they are willing to trade him, the front office will have to comb through the various offers to find which one best suits their needs. Towns is eligible to sign his rookie-scale contract extension. Butler's and Wiggins' tension played out on social media in recent days. The Wolves will hold their media day on Monday - the team already has excused Butler from having to attend that event - and Butler's camp has told the Wolves he won't be available for "on-court activities" to start training camp.

"On June 25, 2015, I was drafted to and committed to the Minnesota Timberwolves", Towns said in a statement, per his Instagram. "On September 22nd, 2018, I made a recommitment to the Wolves and have the same feelings of excitement that I felt back in 2015". "Thank you for believing in me". He was hoping to team up Butler with a young core of Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the 2014 and 2015 first picks respectively.

Thibodeau is less inclined to trade Butler, especially in a scenario that would imperil the franchise's ability to reach the playoffs for a second straight year after missing the postseason the previous 13 seasons, league sources said. He is an offensive force. Defense was a also major key point in Thibodeau's first season with the Wolves that led him to bring in players who played under him before. Signing Towns for the long term was the logical call. Using ESPN's Real Plus/Minus (a flawed stat but one that provides a good snapshot) Towns was one of the weaker defensive centers in the league, playing at a current Dirk Nowitzki level.

Boston Celtics: 3 reasons team should steer clear of Jimmy Butler

Nevertheless, it remains uncertain how much - if anything - the Clippers would trade for a player whom the team could sign this summer without surrendering any assets.

In the playoffs last season, the Rockets' Clint Capela completely outplayed Towns.

Expect plenty of other teams to inquire about Butler, too.

The news is different than what was reported of the Wolves' front office earlier on Friday, who reportedly told teams they meant to keep Butler.

More news: Timberwolves owner says Jimmy Butler is available for trade

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