September 25, 2018, 4:02 am
Media day came and went with every player on the Wolves facing questions regarding Jimmy Butler’s request, including the new guys like Luol Deng. Butler was granted permission to skip media day (NBA players face a $25,000 fine for missing the event), but was at the Mayo Clinic taking his physical. In fact he met with Tom Thibodeau on Monday in what could possibly be described as a last-ditch effort, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Minnesota Timberwolves President/Coach Tom Thibodeau met with All-Star forward Jimmy Butler on Monday and tried to convince him to eventually rejoin the team in the preseason, league sources tell ESPN. Butler is sitting out, awaiting the organization to honor his trade request.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 25, 2018
During the press conference with Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, Thibs noted that Butler would need about another week of rehabilitation and could join the team after that, but it’s looking like that day may never come. Woj reports that Butler is firm with his request to be traded before the week is out.
You have to give Thibs some props for his persistence, although this seems like a completely hopeless affair at this stage.
The focus now turns solely to the trade table, and Woj had some interesting information in his latest report. Namely, the Sacramento Kings have been a major facilitator in the Jimmy Butler trade as it’s becoming clear that the Wolves will need a third team to match up some of the salaries. The Kings are only team in the NBA under the cap line with a robust $11 million in space. It’s almost a guarantee at this point that the Kings will be involved in any Butler deal, most likely taking on Gorgui Dieng, or another undesirable contract, plus a young asset, or future draft pick.
The three teams mentioned in Woj’s report include the Nets, Clippers and Heat as the teams acquiring Butler. Other names mentioned, like the Raptors, Bucks and Knicks have cooled off. With the Kings willing to work with the Wolves here, it certainly opens the door for a better deal for the Wolves. They have a chance to get out of Dieng’s contract AND get a useful asset for Butler.
— Kevin Brand (@KBranded) September 23, 2018
It will be an interesting few days as we await the outcome of this saga, but it’s looking quite positive that Butler will be traded within the week.
Training camp opens on Tuesday and Jimmy Butler will not be there, but the rest of these guys will.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) September 24, 2018