Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Butler to miss Wolves' media day, start of camp

Butler to miss Wolves' media day, start of camp

It had been a tumultuous team-up for Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

News of the extension comes amid a torrid week for the team after Jimmy Butler's trade demand went public. More money is available to Butler if he plays out his contract and enters the open market in 2019. Just like Butler, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard requested a trade with a year left on their respective contracts.

Towns' willingness to finally sign his max deal means that he nearly certainly has been assured he's never going to have to see Butler in the Wolves' locker room ever again. He was traded to the Timberwolves before last season.

Butler requested a trade earlier this week, with his preferred destinations reportedly the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, in that order according to ESPN. Taylor wants the front office to strike a deal as soon as possible. However, Shams Charania reported that Towns does not want to make any decisions until the Butler situation is resolved.

Kawhi Leonard #30 and Jimmy Butler #50 of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team talk during a practice session. |Aug. 10 2015- Source Ethan Miller  Getty Images North America
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Dysfunction may still exist in Minnesota whether Butler is traded or not. Beyond that, teams are anxious that if they sign or re-sign Butler next summer to a max contract (the team with his Bird rights can offer five-years, $190 million, others can offer four years at $139 million) they will regret the finals year or two of the contract, because while Butler is just 29 he has Thibodeau miles on him and has battled some injuries, including last season.

The question of whether or not Butler will report on Monday is out there now, too.

Towns, the No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky and 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, led the Timberwolves into the Western Conference playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons in 2017-2018. However, they got eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the first round.

Butler had once imagined playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, but LeBron James' arrival as the franchise's cornerstone made it less appealing for Butler in the prime of his career, league sources said. The trio of Russell, Wiggins and Towns would give the Timberwolves a very talented core of players all under the age of 24.

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