After suffering an early exit in the Western Conference Playoffs, drama started to circulate around Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Recent reports from Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Butler has been frustrated been with his young teammates in Minnesota, specifically Karl-Anthony Towns, and claimed that the All-Star forward will not sign an extension with the Timberwolves this summer.
Failing to convince Jimmy Butler to sign an extension will be a disaster for the Timberwolves since there is a strong chance that he will opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. In a message sent to Pioneer Press, Butler’s agent Bernie Lee addressed the rumors involving the superstar and his relationship with the Timberwolves.
“But the one thing I will say is, anyone who knows Jimmy, this is Mr. [Glen] Taylor, [Tom Thibodeau], to every player he’s ever played with, they know one thing about Jimmy… he doesn’t do passive-aggressive. If he has something to say to someone he says it without hesitation and everyone involved knows this. So I say that to say if he had an opinion to share about anyone or anything, in particular, they would know and they wouldn’t have to read about it.”
Lee didn’t give a direct answer regarding the rumors, but what he said about Jimmy Butler is true. The 28-year-old small forward has been very vocal about his feelings and doesn’t hesitate to criticize when needed. However, there is also some truth about his frustration with the Timberwolves.
During the 2017-18 NBA season, there were multiple occasions when Butler called out his teammates with their lack of commitment on the defensive end of the floor. Some people believe that most of his comments were directed to his young teammates Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. When they faced the Houston Rockets in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs, Butler questioned why not everybody on the team shares the same view with him when it comes to winning.
As of now, the Timberwolves are still doing their best to convince Jimmy Butler to commit long-term with the team. Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau revealed that their No. 1 priority this offseason is to sign Butler to a contract extension. If Butler refuses, it is highly likely that the Timberwolves will make him available on the trade market on or before the February 2019 NBA trade deadline. Trading him will be their best option than losing him in the summer of 2019 as an unrestricted free agent without getting anything in return.