Seems like it’s time for a new thread, as there have been some more crazy developments in the Jimmy Butler saga today.
Woj published a piece this morning reporting that the Wolves not only were rejecting offers for Butler, they weren’t even listening to them, telling teams they had no intention of trading the disgruntled star.
Later he updated the piece to suggest that Glen Taylor was more open that Tom Thibodeau to finding a deal, and interested teams saw Taylor as a path to getting something done.
Which...what on earth is that about? Last I checked, Glen Taylor is the owner. Am I to take from this that Thibs and Scott Layden are defying his wishes? If that’s the case, how are they still on the job?
My initial assumption was that Thibs was trying to engineer his exit in the most profitable way possible—if he refuses to engage on a trade that the owner wants to make, how can Taylor keep him around?
Yet it appears to not be quite so simple, as apparently at least one executive who was at the Board of Governor’s meeting with Taylor today was told to direct any inquiries to the front office, suggesting that at least for now, Taylor is still relying on the duo to do their jobs.
Following the meeting, Taylor was not in the mood to talk:
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, as NBA Board of Governors meeting in NYC adjourned, determinedly ducked questions re: Jimmy Butler, trade request, drama, etc.. "It's disappointing," was all he said. Will not be at team's Media Day Monday or first w/outs.— Steve Aschburner (@AschNBA) September 21, 2018
Taylor is not planning to be around for media day, which is convenient for him but leaves plenty of unanswered questions.
There are no rumors that I’ve heard that Taylor is contemplating an immediate removal of Thibs, despite obvious reasons to do so. We could be looking at a dead man walking on the sidelines all season.
Meanwhile, Jon Krawczynski in The Athletic reports that Butler told Thibs of his unhappiness at the end of the season, but nothing was done to address that or other problems, leading to Tuesday’s meeting, in which Thibs tried and failed to sell Butler on his vision for the Wolves.
He also reports that it’s possible Butler does not show up for training camp even if he remains on the roster next week, which would be a disastrous turn of events.
Interesting to me is this bit:
By all accounts, Thibodeau has been much more accessible and engaging with Taylor, and many in the organization, this summer. He has been working to establish relationships that he simply ignored in his first two seasons on the job, knowing full well that Year 3 could be considered make or break for the Thibodeau-Layden pairing.
Any signs of momentum or positive vibes were extinguished this week, and no one knows how this ends.
Could be a little too late.
Elsewhere, Zach Lowe discussed various trade possibilities, many of which are sounding pretty good to me right now.
After the trade request, the various (hilarious) happenings on social media...I just don’t see any way this gets salvaged. Butler has to go. I believe strongly that Thibs has to go, though I’m no longer really expecting that in the near term.
The Wolves continue to Wolves.
Bonus question: Is there any level of crazy/dysfunction that would surprise you at this point?
Woj chimes in again:
Story filed to ESPN: As Minnesota’s front office tells inquiring rivals that team has no plans to trade Jimmy Butler, owner Glen Taylor had a different message at NBA’s Board of Governors meetings: Butler is available and owners/GM’s should contact Taylor himself if necessary.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2018
It’s really amazing. Hard to top this.