The Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office has made it clear that they don’t want to trade Jimmy Butler.
Team owner Glen Taylor, though, apparently has other plans.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Taylor has told other teams at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings that Butler is available, and that owners and general managers who are interested in making a trade for Butler can contact him directly if needed.
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
“The owner’s trading him,” one Board of Governors attendee told ESPN on Friday. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.”
“He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Layden], and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,” another official told ESPN.
Taylor did not comment to Wojnarowski on Friday. Per the report, NBA officials believe that Taylor simply doesn’t want a “prolonged saga with Butler,” and that he would prefer to move him sooner rather than later.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden were very reluctant to move Butler just days after he told the team that he wants to be done playing in Minnesota and wants to be traded to one of three teams.
The 29-year-old reportedly rejected an extension with the Wolves this summer that would have paid him $110 million over four years, as he wants a more lucrative deal. The Clippers, Knicks and Nets — the three teams Butler told the Wolves he is willing to sign with — have the salary-cap space to sign him to a maximum contract extension this summer. He’s eligible for a five-year, $190 million extension with the Wolves or a team that trades for him.
Butler has reportedly told Thibodeau that he was planning to leave Minnesota in free agency next summer anyways, too.
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists for the Timberwolves last season and led them to their first playoff berth since 2004.
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