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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Report: Timberwolves planning to begin season with Jimmy Butler on roster

Jimmy Butler

Might Tom Thibodeau win his standoff with Jimmy Butler after all?

Butler has continued to reiterate his desire to be traded, but Minnesota’s front office, led by Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden, are driving a hard bargain. They know Butler is critical to their success, and if they are going to trade him, they don’t want to get fleeced on a deal.

According to The Athletic, Thibodeau is telling his team to be prepared for Butler to be on the roster to start the season and that they might not trade Butler until some point during the season.

“We’re always going to do what’s best for the team. That’s the important thing for everyone to understand,” Thibodeau said after practice on Tuesday, via The Athletic. “If that means he’s here, then he’ll be here. If he means he’s not here, then he’s not here. So just focus on what we have.”

The motivations of Thibodeau seem to be two-fold. The first is that he is entering his third season as the team’s head coach, and he recognizes that the team is unlikely to be much of a competitor without Butler. He wants to make the situation work because he knows that his big Butler acquisition last year backfiring could cost him his job. Secondly, Butler saying he only wants to go to certain teams, and team owner Glen Taylor saying he wants to trade Butler, undermines the front office’s ability to get the best deal for Butler.

It’s possible that this is all posturing from the Timberwolves in order to get an increased trade offer, but it’s also entirely possible that Thibodeau just does not want to trade Butler and enter the season with a weakened roster.

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