This past week has not gotten any less interesting for Timberwolves fans. New developments seem to be breaking every day, but it seems like the coup of the Minnesota Timberwolves is becoming resolved. Jimmy Butler is going to be traded into what sounds like a growing trade market, Karl-Anthony Towns has signed his full five-year maximum contract, and Tom Thibodeau will likely no longer be in charge in the near future.
The team still has no clear direction, but the building blocks will remain the same while the scaffolding is torn down and rebuilt. It’s hard to even believe some of this:
Thibodeau’s general manager, Scott Layden, had been shutting down trade inquires for Butler in recent days, and Taylor has demanded that Layden not only take calls on potential deals, but reach out to initiate conversations, league sources said. This is all really...unique. https://t.co/RwoI9RSvGz— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
The key element that will come to light in the days ahead for the Timberwolves: Is the approach from Scott Layden and Tom Thibodeau a negotiating strategy or simple insubordination? What a week.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 23, 2018
There is a lot of information out there of various teams being interested, with potentially up to eight different teams working with the Wolves on finding a trade. This is pretty great news, as our initial reactions were extremely pessimistic about finding a trade partner for Butler considering his public request to land in New York or LA. But now Miami, Philadelphia, Toronto, Cleveland, Houston, and Portland are in the game, which probably means there are even a few more teams out there kicking the tires on the potential trade. The bidding war has begun.
The Wolves may be trying to move a few other pieces as part of this trade, such as Gorgui Dieng. The other players that we could possibly see in trade discussions are Taj Gibson and Tyus Jones, as both are positive assets that could be used to balance whatever deal may occur.
It seems likely that this trade will be happening quickly now that Glen Taylor has inserted himself into this issue and informed Thibodeau and Layden that Butler is to be traded as soon as possible. This team could look very different by the end of the week.
However, before all that, because this issue has only been dealt with in late September, we get to have a full day of awkward questions today at Media Day!
We will have John Meyer from Canis Hoopus there today for what can only be an amazing day. Jimmy Butler will not be at Media Day as he has been granted permission by the team to skip the proceedings. The rest of the team is not so lucky.
It will be hard for anything but Jimmy Butler discussions to dominate the conversation. The team is changing course in a major way both with the roster as well as the overall franchise direction. The reign of Tom Thibodeau has been supplanted by Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns and Andrew Wiggins are now the face of this team and they will have to respond in kind at Media Day today. Wiggins is sure to get questions about his relationship with Butler, following up on his online feud with Stephen Jackson and Nick Wiggins’ online comments.
I’m hoping that Towns and Thibs get to share the stage at some point. That relationship seems to be as fraught with tension as the one between Butler and Towns and it likely means that Thibs is not long for this team. Perhaps we can get the NBA’s new most awkward moment between a coach and his star center.
We will be here all day. The mess continues and we will have the popcorn ready.