The Minnesota Timberwolves made the postseason for the first time in 15 years last season, but their long-term success appears to be in grave danger.
This offseason has given way to plenty of speculation regarding superstar Jimmy Butler’s future in Minnesota and now, those rumors will only pick up even more steam. According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, Butler will meet with Wolves General Manager Scott Layden and head coach Tom Thibodeau early next week.
Jimmy Butler will meet with Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden on Monday to "have honest conversations about the All-Star's future with the team," sources tell @TheAthleticMIN. Story upcoming.
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 15, 2018
Though Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns are the homegrown youngsters, last summer’s acquisition of Jimmy Butler is what truly pushed this team over the hump and into the playoffs. After years of subpar basketball and paltry records, losing a player the caliber of Butler would be a devastating blow for a team who has playoff aspirations once again this upcoming season.
While news of the meeting far from solidifies that Butler will be moving on, Minnesota fans should be wary that he may not stick around for that long. Even if he is on the Wolves’ opening-day roster this season, Butler could bolt next summer thanks to a player option in his deal, allowing him to hit the free agent market.
Of course, another red flag was Butler’s reluctance to agree to a contract extension earlier in the offseason. Though it may have been strictly for financial purposes, it is still noteworthy that the Marquette product remains tepid about his future in the Twin Cities.
One of the best wings alive and perhaps the premier two-way player in the NBA, if Jimmy Butler were to be shopped across the association, there would be no shortage of suitors. Even with potentially only a year left on his current contract, teams will certainly not hesitate to offer up a respectable package for a player this talented on both ends of the court.