Alarm bells could be going off in Minnesota. Ahead of training camp, which is set to begin in less than two weeks, it appears Jimmy Butler is frustrated with how things are going with the Timberwolves. According to a report from The Athletic, Butler is set to meet with Wolves coach and GM Tom Thibodeau next week.
Thibodeau and Butler have a strong relationship going back to their days together with the Chicago Bulls, but there are other issues for Butler. For one, his relationship with Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns is reportedly strained. Plus, Butler, who is set to be a free agent this summer, has to consider whether or not this current group is worth re-upping with for four or five years. Via ESPN:
Just days before the start of training camp in Minneapolis, Butler and his agent Bernie Lee are planning to meet with Thibodeau on Monday in Minneapolis for what's expected to be a serious conversation on the franchise's fragile state, sources said.
"Whatever needs to be communicated ... will be," one league source briefed on the meeting told ESPN.
The Thibodeau-Butler relationship has been largely strong since the Bulls drafted Butler in 2011, but Butler's partnership with young star Karl-Anthony Towns has been strained and remains an obstacle to 2018-19 team's success --- and perhaps the ability to sign Butler to a new contract next summer, league sources said.
Butleran extension from the Wolves earlier this summer, though that was largely a financial decision. By waiting until next summer to sign a new deal -- with the Wolves or elsewhere -- Butler can make far more money. And that, is where the Wolves have some serious leverage. They can offer nearly $50M more in guaranteed money than any other team.
Minnesota can offer Butler a five-year, $187 million max contract --- with a max deal elsewhere worth four years, $139 million.
Regardless of what happens in this meeting between Butler and Thibodeau, this is set to be a fascinating season in Minneapolis.