The meeting that reportedly was going to happen Monday between Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves front office, a meeting billed as a potential pivotal moment for Butler’s future in the franchise, didn’t happen — at least according to Butler.
Butler tweeted late Monday night that the meeting is actually occurring Tuesday. It was widely reported over the weekend that it was going to be Monday.
“Exactly why people need to stop believing what you see on the internet,” Butler tweeted. “I wonder what else people write and people believe. Hmmm.”
The meeting will take place after an offseason filled with soap opera-like drama for the Wolves and Butler, with reports surfacing that he is frustrated playing with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the two young cornerstones of the franchise.
Butler rejected the Wolves’ offer of a four-year, $110 million extension in July, a move that was not so much a repudiation of the Wolves but a business move since Butler could net up to $80 million more if he signs a new contract after this coming season (Butler has a player option on his current deal and can opt out of his contract after this upcoming season).
Training camp opens next week.
Towns has yet to sign his maximum contract extension and has until Oct. 15 to do so. If Butler is unhappy and indicates to the Wolves he will not sign with them next offseason, the most prudent option for the Wolves might be to trade Butler before the deadline in February and get something in return for him instead of letting him walk for nothing.
To do that, head coach and personnel boss Tom Thibodeau would have to make a decision that is aimed at the franchise’s long-term goals rather than the short term, something that could be difficult for a coach who hates to lose any regular-season game.
The Wolves remain optimistic that Towns will sign his extension, which likely will be worth up to $188 million over five years. The Wolves can offer more money than any other team and Towns would lose leverage if he doesn’t sign by Oct. 15. He would only have the chance to become a restricted free agent next summer (whereas Butler would be unrestricted) and the Wolves would be able to match any offer that comes Towns’ way from another team.