Report: Timberwolves declining offers for Butler

NBA.com Global on Sep 22, 2018 08:06 AM
Report: Timberwolves declining offers for Butler
FILE - SHENZHEN, CHINA - OCTOBER 05: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles the ball up court against the Golden State Warriors as part of 2017 NBA Global Games China on October 5, 2017 in Shenzhen, China at Shenzhen Universidade. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

Since four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the week, teams have been calling the Wolves to inquire about a deal.

But according to ESPN, the Wolves are rebuffing any offers and that team owner Glen Taylor will be involved in any discussions about a trade.

In the aftermath of Butler's trade request this week, Minnesota executives are telling teams that Butler's an elite player and that the franchise intends to keep him, league sources said.

Often that's an opening message that's followed with a query on what a prospective trade partner might offer in a hypothetical deal, but that hasn't been the case in the Timberwolves' dialogues with teams late this week, sources said.

Nevertheless, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has become fully engaged in the decision-making process on a potential Butler trade and is far more open to the idea of orchestrating a deal than president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, league sources said.

Butler has reportedly requested to be traded to three teams -- the LA Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

However, Thibodeau is less inclined to trade his All-Star because he would like the franchise to go for a second straight berth to the postseason after missing the last 13 seasons.

Butler, 29, holds a player option on his contract next season, but it is widely expected he will opt out and join a 2019 free-agent market that many expect to be robust. In addition, Minnesota's All-Star big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, is in the final year of his contract. Towns can sign a contract extension by Oct. 15 or else, he, too, could enter the free-agent pool next summer.

Reports circulated in the offseason that Butler was frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Next season, Wiggins will begin playing on his maximum contract in 2018-19, with a $25 million-plus salary that will account for more than 20 percent of the team’s cap and push the Timberwolves close to the luxury tax threshold.

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