In an offseason of speculation and vague hints about the Timberwolves, Sporting News has an interesting report with considerably more substance.
In a larger piece about the Wolves’ overall approach to a critical offseason, Sean Deveney writes this:
Sources familiar with the situation told Sporting News that Jimmy Butler is uncertain about playing with Andrew Wiggins — Butler had problems last season with Wiggins, his work ethic and his approach on the defensive end of the floor. Thibodeau has had similar problems with Wiggins in the past, too, and he had some hope that bringing a tough-minded veteran like Butler into the locker room would spur Wiggins to improve. It didn’t.
Now, we don’t know Deveney’s sources, and the idea that Butler and Wiggins aren’t a perfect match is hardly shocking. But it is worth considering as Butler ponders his long-term future and the Wolves ponder what to do with Wiggins — an underachiever in his fourth season who signed a max contract extension set to kick next year.
Two other items of note from the report, per Deveney:
*Jeff Teague, according to a source, went to Thibodeau during last season and suggested that Tyus Jones play more.
*Jones met with team management after the playoffs, and Tom Thibodeau reasserted his support of Jones and his development. Jones had considered requesting a trade, but the meeting with the team defused that notion before it arose. And for now, at least, the Wolves have no intention of dealing him.
How the team addresses these things and adds depth will start to come into focus soon, with the draft next week and free agency starting in a little over two weeks.