September 19, 2018, 2:46 pm
The reports are flooding in and the meeting between Jimmy Butler and Tom Thibodeau has reach a conclusion. The result? Butler requesting a trade out of Minnesota, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.
Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. Butler has given Minnesota a list of one-to-three teams with whom he's open to signing extension, in anticipation of trade.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2018
The three teams have since been named as the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Each of those teams will have the max contract space to offer Butler an extension this summer, and each will have an opportunity to add another star player along side Butler in his elusive quest for a ring.
The news comes less than a week before media day and training camp and the timing couldn’t be worse for the franchise. Butler and Thibodeau met in Los Angeles yesterday to discuss the player’s future with the team, which concluded with the trade request.
Any trade will be difficult for Thibodeau, not only logistically, but on a personal and professional level as well. It’s tough to envision Thibodeau sticking around after Butler leaves, so trading him could be his own death sentence in Minnesota. Then extracting value out of Butler will be difficult as well with the season right around the corner. On top of that, Thibodeau has a deep admiration for Butler and is the type of player who fits his mold perfectly.
For Thibodeau it’s a lose-lose. For the Wolves, it might be best if they can put this short era behind them and once again reset.
It appears that Butler is determined to be traded to the Clippers where they can fit him and one other max-level player on the roster next summer, per Woj. However Thibodeau is hesitant to trade Butler at this time.
For Thibodeau, if he trades Butler he’s raising the white flag. He wants to make this work at all costs, but that ship has sailed. At this point it looks like Thibs will either have to be fired or, if he indeed caves and trades Butler, will end up trading the disgruntled star for a package of veterans in a last-ditch attempt to win this season. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News spoke to an NBA executive who thinks that Thibs has no interest in a rebuild.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 20, 2018
As more information comes to light, this report will be updated. Check out the more in-depth look at the lead-up and fallout from this scenario here. Also in the meantime, feel free to check out the petty wars that are being fought. Everybody is chipping in; Butler, Wiggins, Stephen Jackson, Nick Wiggins, RIcky Rubio and even Lauri Markkanen. The NBA is back.
This morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN published a piece that mentioned the front office for the Wolves was against the idea of trading Butler and weren’t even courting offers for the disgruntled player. This backed up last night’s report that Thibodeau would rather play-out the season with Butler than trade him and probably lose more games.
Story filed to ESPN: Rival executives lobbing calls to Minnesota’s front office on possibility of trading for Jimmy Butler are getting inquires shut down. Minnesota is telling teams that Butler’s an elite player and franchise intends to keep him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2018
The decision seems questionable but, from Thibodeau’s perspective, predictable. He’d rather captain a sinking ship than jump for the lifeboats, and when Thibs is the leading of the front office, they follow his directive.
This afternoon, though, Woj again reported on the Wolves, this time mentioning that they are very much looking to trade Butler, you just have to go straight to the top to negotiate.
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
This is why your head coach should not lead the basketball operations as well. Scott Layden, the GM of the Wolves who handles the day-to-day affairs and trade discussions, is now caught in between a potential battle of attrition between Thibodeau and Taylor (one that will surely end poorly for Thibs), and Layden will have to carefully toe the line between the two sides.
Instead of causing some confusion, though, Taylor has taken matters into his own hands. At the Board of Governors Meetings the other executives inferred that they should talk to Taylor over anyone else, according to Woj:
“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”
At one point, it was looking like Thibodeau might be able to last the rest of the season before the two sides parted ways. Now it looks like Thibodeau (and possibly Butler) might not make it until Media Day on Monday.
The Jimmy Butler saga continues, but it plans to stay away from the cameras and watchful eyes for the time being. Jon Krawczynski of the Athletic has reported that Butler has been granted permission to skip Monday’s media day session. He also will miss the early portions of training camp.
The Timberwolves have also been made aware that Jimmy Butler will not be available for on-court activities at the outset of training camp, sources tell @TheAthleticMIN
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 22, 2018
As fun as it would have been to see Butler and Wiggins in the same room answering questions about on another, this is the right move. It will still be quite awkward, but it saves the team a potential PR nightmare.
It’s very likely that the team we see at media day and in training camp is vastly different from the team we see on opening night. Not only is Butler obviously nearing an exit, reports from last night suggest that Taylor would prefer to attach Gorgui Dieng to a Butler deal to clear even more future cap space. Then with the front office likely to go through a major overhaul and the coaching staff facing a mass exodus if Thibs is fired, things are about to get juicy in Minneapolis.
August 20, 2019, 2:17 pmDerrick AlstonTeam, New York Knicks
The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.
Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.
Source: Ian Begley on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:21 pmCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Cory Joseph is not expected to play for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup.
Team Canada has been taking a beating the last few weeks with NBA guys continuing to pull out. This news won't have any effects on Joseph's role heading into the season, but it does create another dent in Team Canada's chances of making noise in the World Cup.
Source: Doug Smith: Raptors on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:08 pmMarcus Georges-HuntSG, Free Agent
Jay King of The Athletic is hearing that Marcus Georges-Hunt is in Boston working out with the Celtics for the next few days.
Hunt last played in the NBA for the WOlves in the 2017-18 season. Last season Hunt was waived from the Celtics in mid-October and played nine games for the Red Claws. Hunt is a longshot to make the team and carries no fantasy relevance regardless of the outcome.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 11:55 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers are planning individual workouts to evaluate centers Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Mo Speights this week in Los Angeles.
Marcin Gortat is also in the Lakers’ radar as the team is actively looking to sign another big after DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL last week. Speights spent the last season in China after 10 years in the NBA while Gortat remains overseas and it’s unclear whether he will be back to Los Angeles for a workout with the team.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 11:37 amAaron GordonPF, Orlando Magic
Aaron Gordon is re-embracing his inner big man by spending a part of his offseason trying to refine his post-game.
Gordon certainly has room for growth as a post-up player. Last season, he got the ball on the post 219 times, the rub however, was that he shot just 40.4 percent on his 114 shot attempts out of the post, while handing out just 13 assists and turning the ball over 12 times. AG’s greatest weapon defensively has always been his versatility and now with a more firm offensive understanding beneath him, it appears the next step for him is to expand that versatility on both ends of the floor. When guarded by lighter small forwards, he wants to be able to use his chiseled body as a battering ram in the post to create point-blank looks, and when he’s being checked by slower power forwards, he thinks he will have major advantages with his quickness and footwork to get to the rim for easy opportunities. Gordon added that the Magic are welcoming raised expectations for next year due to the group’s collective will to improve this offseason and his work ethic is something that should make fantasy owners excited for next season.
August 20, 2019, 11:12 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
Appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Brian Windhorst said that he thinks Dwight Howard coming back to the Lakers is probably not going to happen.
“I don’t think it’s a very likely marriage,” Windhorst said. “I think the Lakers right now are doing their due diligence and Joakim Noah is another guy they have looked at.” Howard is still under contract with the Grizzlies and the Lakers were granted permission to talk to the former All-Star but health issues might be the reason they are hesitant to make a move for him right now. With DeMarcus Cousins likely out for the entire year the Lakers are in need of somebody who can be healthy and give them a few minutes off the bench, but neither Howard nor Noah have been able to avoid injuries the last few seasons. Howard only played in nine games last year with the Wizards before undergoing a lumbar microdiscotemy in November while Noah has struggled to stick on a roster after leaving the Bulls in 2016 and playing in just 53 games with the Knicks.
August 20, 2019, 9:10 amKyle AlexanderC, Miami Heat
While the Heat looks to be done offering standard contracts this offseason barring a trade, it still has room to sign two players to two-way deals.
Miami’s roster currently includes 17 players, with three of them, Kyle Alexander, Chris Silva and Jeremiah Martin eligible for two-way contracts. Because the Heat has no room under the hard cap to sign any more players to a standard contract, it’s trying to entice players to sign Exhibit 10 contracts with the expectation that they will have a legitimate chance to earn a two-way contract during training camp. The trio will be among those competing in September for a two-way contract, but even if they make the team, they are far away from having any fantasy value.
Source: Miami Herald
August 20, 2019, 8:58 amTacko FallC, Boston Celtics
Tacko Fall’s agent, Justin Haynes, said that if the Celtics cut his client, he believes another NBA team will give the big man an opportunity.
“If the Celtics release him, I don’t think he goes unclaimed,” said Haynes. “I think somebody will take a shot on him because he’s done enough to show he can find a place in the NBA.” Fall was arguably the most popular player at Las Vegas Summer League and he signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics, which is essentially a training camp invite. It’s probably unlikely that Boston keeps him past the preseason though as Fall’s game still needs a lot of development while the team has already filled their two-way contracts. And while his agent is doing all the due diligence, he is probably right saying that another team could potentially take a flier on the Senegalese center.
Source: Boston Globe
August 20, 2019, 8:46 amMoritz WagnerPF, Washington Wizards
German national team coach Henrik Rodl announced on Monday that Moritz Wagner was cut from the FIBA World Cup roster.
This might look surprising but Wagner is coming off a year where he rarely stepped into game action, while he looked out of shape in the Summer League last month. It also doesn’t help that Maxi Kleber and Daniel Theis are expected to receive the majority of the minutes in his position. Germany will now travel to China with 13 players and one more cut must be made before the start of the tournament. Wagner on the other hand will have even more time to prepare for the upcoming season with the Wizards.
August 19, 2019, 9:31 pmJerryd BaylessPG, International
Jerry Bayless has signed a deal with CBA club the Sichuan Blue Whales.
Bayless may have a little bit left in his tank. However, given his mileage, it's unlikely that the 10-year veteran will be making a return to the NBA any time soon.