About eight hours after reporting that the Minnesota Timberwolves were rejecting any and all trade offers for four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, Woj went ahead and dropped another bomb on the timeline that showed just how dysfunctional the Timberwolves are.
Woj’s eventual story on the subject goes as far to say that Taylor was actively undermining the potential decisions of his team’s front office at the NBA’s board of governors meeting.
Per the report:
The growing disconnect between Minnesota’s ownership and front office has created an impression for opposing teams that a showdown between Taylor and Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves’ president of basketball operations and head coach, looms as an increasingly plausible conclusion to Butler’s trade request.
“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 high-ranking league official told ESPN.
To Taylor’s credit, he’s arguably leaning towards a better solution for the franchise than what Thibodeau is pursuing. Thibs sees the writing on the wall that his time in Minnesota is almost up and would rather keep the disgruntled superstar around and make the playoffs than not, according to those “familiar with his feelings.” Taylor, on the other hand, seems to understand that keeping Butler around is a flat-out terrible idea. Butler has brought his streak of feuding with teammates to Minnesota and was reportedly clashing with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns throughout last season.
The 29-year-old also might not attend training camp if he’s not moved. There’s a lot of incentive to trade him away from the Timberwolves’ perspective, but it’s worth asking if other teams are willing to take the risk. This is the second team where Butler has fought with teammates, and even though he’s good for a 22-5-4 average—one of nine players to do that last season—that sort of baggage shouldn’t be ignored. Minnesota needs to figure things out now because this will only get worse before it gets better.