I simply don’t know where to begin with the situation involving NBA superstar Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks (although with what current events are transpiring in the world, that may be a logical plan), then you know that Jimmy Butler has asked to be traded from the Wolves.
Butler, a four time all-star, has grown tired of both Minnesota’s young players (some of whom he perceives to be lazy), and of the front office (who has shown on a grand public scale their inability to keep their house in order). If you have been living under that proverbial “rock”, then let’s help you catch up to speed in this soap opera worthy saga.
Immediately after the 2017-18 NBA Season’s conclusion – Jimmy Butler made it known to Timberwolves management that he would like to be traded. The request stays private throughout the duration of the summer.
Month of September – After a summer in which no Butler trade takes place, the trade request becomes public knowledge and is leaked to the media. Team President and Head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to work things out with butler, while owner Glen Taylor makes it known that he wants Butler moved as soon as possible. Multiple suitors, including the Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, and the Miami Heat, make Butler trade offers to Minnesota.
October 7th – A potential trade to the Miami Heat falls apart in the final moments.
October 10th – Jimmy Butler joins the Wolves in practice and proceeded to verbally and mentally abuse players, coaches and front office executives in a expletive-laden practice. This practice also saw Butler taking third-string Wolves players and defeating the starters in a scrimmage. This evening, Jimmy Butler also gives an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, in which he gives his in-depth opinion on the situation in its entirety.
October 11th – After the Timberwolves cancel their practice out of fear of another controversial practice, Jimmy Butler holds a meeting with his fellow teammates to assure them that his primary problem isn’t with them, but with the team front office instead.
Trade talks between the Wolves and the Miami Heat have been on again-off again, but a deal has yet to be reached. Multiple NBA sources claim that a deal was almost in the works earlier in the week, but the Wolves tried to see if they could squeeze a few more Miami draft picks out of the trade. Miami declined, and with a classic Pat Riley expletive outburst to end the conversation, the prospect of a Jimmy Butler trade came crashing down.
I find myself amazed, which in this day and age is nearly impossible, about how stubborn and shortsighted the Timberwolves are handling this situation. No basketball fan alive will deny that Jimmy Butler is an amazing NBA talent. At what cost, however, is it to keep someone around your team if they simply do not want to be there. Let me be clear. You are the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Last season was your first season making the playoffs since 2004. You have two of the brightest young NBA stars in Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. You brought in a guy last season, who just the season prior, had shown his contempt for playing with younger players in a rebuilding situation, into YET ANOTHER rebuilding situation.
This marriage had no chance of working from the beginning.
The choice simple here. Jimmy Butler HAS to be traded. He may have degraded his own trade value due to his antics over the past couple of weeks, but it is the Minnesota front office that has allowed this charade to go on for that long as well.
Let me be clear however, Minnesota has only themselves to blame for this whole mess. They’ve had since this past June to handle this situation, and it’s unfortunate to see them scrambling to salvage what’s left of their dignity now.
Thanks for reading my first blog here at ProSportsExtra, I’m looking forward to writing many more. Follow me on Twitter.