The saga of Jimmy Butler continues with, predictably, no public comments from top Timberwolves brass.
Woj reported soon after “the meeting” that despite the request, Thibs had no interest in trading Butler. I assumed that was just rote: Of course he’s going to leak that. But apparently, at least as of yesterday, it was actually true:
In canvassing the league, there are a number of teams interested in Jimmy Butler. Not all of them would need assurances that Butler will sign long-term. Still unsure if Thibs will change stance and start engaging in trade talks.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 20, 2018
He hasn’t engaged in trade talks? Vey is Mir.
As poorly as this usually turns out, Glen Taylor has to step in here and resolve the situation. Given the goings on over the last few days, they absolutely have to move Butler. The return isn’t going to be great, but they have to move on.
If Thibs is being intransigent about it, then he has to go. Really, he has to go no matter what, but he cannot be left in charge of this situation if he isn’t going to do what has to be done.
Meanwhile, as you are constructing or reading about fake trades, one thing to keep in mind: The Wolves cannot take back more salary than they send out, or at least they will not. They are up against the tax threshold, and they aren’t going to lose Butler and go into the luxury tax at the same time. I’ve seen a bunch of deals suggested that ignore this premise, but we should not.
On (FINALLY) Another Topic....
The great Zach Lowe began his season preview work with an article about the six most intriguing players this season. Two of them are of particular interest here:
Ricky Rubio is the first player he profiles, and he talks about how it took time, but he finally adjusted to Quin Snyder’s offense and playing with another lead guard like Donovan Mitchell. How he learned to use the defenses movement to his advantage when he got the ball after an initial action elsewhere, and his expanded confidence. The Jazz appear to be the feel-good story heading into the season: A team built without true superstars that uses collective effort to succeed.
Andrew Wiggins is also on the list, and it’s not complimentary. Lowe points out that:
Motion-tracking cameras recorded Wiggins “running fast” during only 4.8 percent of his time on the floor, one of the 10 lowest such figures in the league, per Second Spectrum. (Almost everyone in his slowpoke vicinity is a plodding 7-footer.)
That’s...not good. He also discusses his poor shooting, rudimentary pick-and-roll skills, and etc. He concludes:
At some point, the tools and the highlights have to translate into something better than “smaller Rudy Gay.” If Minnesota moves Butler or Tyus Jones -- and Phoenix has asked about Jones, sources say -- that would at least place Wiggins into some lineups with only one other primary ball-handler.
Regardless: Wiggins is almost 24. It’s time.
He’s right. Wiggins’ max extension kicks in this season. It’s time.
The Women’s Basketball World Cup begins tomorrow in Tenerife, Spain. The U.S. are once again favorites, though they have not sent their strongest roster. Cheryl Reeve, as an assistant coach, is the only Lynx representative at the World Cup, as both Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles took a pass in order to recover from a long season.
However, they are still overflowing with talent, including international stalwarts Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, and two other former MVPs in Nneka Ogwumike and Elena Delle Donne.
What’s on your mind today?