Jimmy Butler Turns Down Wolves’ Extension Offer

All-NBA forward Jimmy Butler has formally turned down a contract extension offer from the Timberwolves, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, citing team owner Glen Taylor. As Wolfson notes, the four-year deal would have been worth in excess of $100MM. Butler and his camp expressed gratitude to the Wolves for extending such a generous offer, Wolfson adds (via Twitter).

This news doesn’t come as a surprise, and it doesn’t mean that Butler is plotting his exit from Minnesota. We heard earlier this offseason that the Timberwolves intended to offer their All-Star forward a contract extension, but CBA rules limit the team to offering four years and approximately $100MM, as cap expert Albert Nahmad details (via Twitter).

If he waits until 2019 and opts out of his contract, Butler would be eligible for a new five-year contract worth nearly $190MM with the Wolves, based on a $109MM cap projection for 2019/20. If he wants to sign a new four-year deal with another team at that time, it could be worth up to $140MM+, assuming the cap increases to $109MM.

While the Wolves shouldn’t worry too much about Butler opting not to sign an extension at this point, the former Bull isn’t necessarily a lock to stay in Minnesota long term. There have been reports of tension among the Wolves’ three stars – Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns – so the club will have to do everything it can to make sure those three players are on the same page going forward. Wiggins is already on a long-term max contract with the Wolves, and the team is said to be discussing a similar deal with Towns.

There have also been whispers that Butler and Kyrie Irving have interest in teaming up. Irving is in a similar situation to Butler — both players have player options for 2019/20, meaning they’re likely to reach free agency at the same time next summer. Like Butler, Irving is extension-eligible, but has pointed out that it wouldn’t make financial sense for him to sign a new deal before reaching free agency.

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30 thoughts on “Jimmy Butler Turns Down Wolves’ Extension Offer

  1. Good Riddance he totally messed up the wolves. As a wolves I’m glad we got to the playoffs but we sacrificed a year of development for Wiggins and others.

    • Codeeg

      Jimmy is twice the player Wiggins is and he doesn’t need a max contract to justify his hard nose play.

      • JD396

        Yeah, Wiggins not moving forward was a storyline before Butler ever came to town.

    • If you think Butler has ruined the Wolves you must not be watching. Its not like Wiggins and KAT carried the Wolves to the playoffs. Wiggins is a one-dimensional wing who has shown little interest in actually improving his overall game since his rookie year and KAT seems to not even care about playing defense even though he has the potential to be a stud there. At some point you have to sacrifice development when the team hasn’t made the playoffs in 13 years. But I guess it must be hard to figure out when a player brings a winning culture to a team when the team hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade.

      The bigger issue for the Wolves is Wiggins. He’s extremely limited offensively as a semi-ball dominant, slashing wing with a shaky outside game. Defensively he’s ok but he doesn’t bring anything special there and is a far worse defender than Butler. Giving him the max, and thus expecting him to turn into a top 10 player at his position, was the worst decision since he hasn’t actually taken a significant leap forward since his rookie year.

    • FlaveFlava

      I felt we were lucky to trade for a player like Butler. Even if he leaves next year or the year after, KAT and Wiggins got a chance to learn from and play alongside one of the best two-way players in the game. Whether they can take advantage of that is up to them.

    • Djones246890

      T’Wolves fans are finding out what us Bulls fans knew all along. Jimmy is a divisive egotistical character. It’s all about him. He forms cliques in the locker room, and just declares himself “leader.” The guy is a joke. If you want to have a team with horrible chemistry, that plays .500 ball, and limps into the playoffs, Jimmy is your “leader.” Cue the butthurt Jimmy fangirls that don’t mind having a mediocre team, as long as their boyfriend Jimmy is on the team.

  2. obutu

    Isn’t it kind of stupid to have to wait to offer him the max contract, the player will not sign for 80million less and the team wants to lock him up long term, so why all the nonsense of waiting?? other leagues allows for full contract extensions whenever the two sides want to! I don’t get it…

  3. dust44

    Still think the Butler trade was terrible. Didn’t like the Rubio trade either. Or the Teague signing. Tibs really screwed up the Wolves

    • formerlyz

      I still think the Butler trade was highway robbery for Minnesota. If anything, the Wiggins max extension, and extending Dieng when they were going to sign Gibson were the biggest mistakes. The Rubio-Teague situation can go either way, considering Teague doesnt have much guaranteed money in that 3rd year, if I recall correctly

      • FlaveFlava

        Yup. Thing that has really hurt this team the most are Wiggins lack of consistent, high-level scoring type nights, and the Dieng contract has helped to create a shaky 2nd unit.

        • formerlyz

          It’s not the scoring from Wiggins. It’s his effort level, the fact he disappears, the fact he still hasnt really gotten stronger, the fact that he could be an elite defender, but still hasnt shown any glimpses of desire or ability to play that end of the floor, nor has he really improved in that area. He still needs to continue to improve his jumpshot, and he needs to be a more willing attacker with the ball, and learn how to play without the ball by posting up in the half court and/or becoming a great cutter. The thing is that he absolutely has enough talent to be a great player, but it’s hard to say that we know he even wants to be. He took the most shots on that team last year, and there were still reports of him complaining about touches and shots. If anything, KAT needs more touches, and Wiggins needs to be more efficient. Jimmy Butler should be frustrated with him. The work he has put in to be the player he is, and he still wants more. Wiggins has all this talent, and he doesnt even care

    • Rubio wasn’t going to be a good fit with Wiggins and Butler. Honestly, Rubio needed a change of scenery.

      I don’t see how the Butler trade was bad though. Dunn looks promising but he still needs to develop. At his best Lavine would be another Wiggins…an athletic, slashing wing with a shaky outside jumper. Butler is light years better than him.

    • JD396

      I still like the Butler trad. But, I think I would just as soon have kept Rubio.

  4. formerlyz

    They need to do what they can to lock up Butler, and trade Wiggins, preferably for a shooting combo guard and salary relief

  5. hiflew

    Why turn down $100 million for the chance at $190 million? People really need to learn from Nerlens Noel. One big injury or just a bad year and that money is not coming back. Unless he thinks he won’t be able to feed his family for $100 million. Sure it might pay off, but at some point all you are doing is adding money onto the pile.

    • formerlyz

      As an elite player, he has the responsibility for future generations and even other current players, to take an offer commensurate of his value. Guys can and sometimes do take decent-big paycuts, but $90 million? Especially after Wiggins got what he got? No way. Injuries can happen at any point, but it’s really hard to take that kind of a low end deal this close to free agency. Butler might also want to exercise his free agent right, and go on the market, before making a decision, and on the open market. He would definitely get max

      • hiflew

        You are just looking at things the wrong way. He is not taking a pay cut of $90 million. You can’t take a pay cut if you aren’t already getting paid that. He would getting a pay raise to $100 million. Besides, I would really like to trade checking accounts with you if you describe $25 million a year for 4 years a “low end deal.”

        • formerlyz

          I should have phrased it differently. Not a paycut, but a massively over-the-top team friendly deal

    • You’re talking two different players though. Butler is one of the top 5 two-way players in the league and even if he suffers an injury or has a down year, someone will be more than willing to pay him on the hope that he bounces back. Nerlens Noel is limited as an athletic rim-running big who can protect the rim. A solid profile but its not like he’s not replaceable. Even if you want to cite DeMarcus Cousins, Butler doesn’t come with the perceived attitude and locker room issues that Cousins does. Many teams crossed off Cousins from their free agent boards solely because they didn’t think he would be a good locker room presence. If Butler was to hit free agency, I’m sure almost every team would be interested.

      • hiflew

        Okay, so let’s cite a different player. How about Derrick Rose? Derrick Rose got his money and then fell apart the first year of the extension. Now he is getting minimum salary. What would have happened had he decided to wait a year to get more money? He would have lost BIG.

        Unless you are in the Lebron, Kobe, MJ bracket (which Butler is not), your time at the top of the game is very fleeting. Trying to wait to get what can only be described as icing on an already huge cake is just playing with fire.

        • formerlyz

          Derrick Rose got his max extension, and it was also a totally different point in their career. That was a designated player rookie scale max extension, which nobody has ever turned down since it was introduced

      • formerlyz

        Also a torn achilles is arguably the worst injury you could probably have, and has ended a lot of careers. Dominique was amazing for the couple of years immediately after, but most everyone else was either never the same, some by a lot, or it ended their career generally outright

  6. I always said Minny did good getting Butler, but they gave up way too much, don’t mind much ZLV, but Dunn & specially Markkanen, hurts a lot for a young developing team to loose all that young talent, no one can ever doubt Rubio is way better than Teague & would fit way better as he is a pass first PG exactly what you need in a team with all these scorers. Minny should probably trade Wiggins if they can, though I think he is good, 2 years ago he was getting 24 a night, while KAT 25, so he has progressed every year but last with Butler in the team. Also I think Butler is as good as gone, so Minny needs to get some good for Wiggins if they trade him, & wait to get rid of Teague & Taj (I prefer Dieng anyway).

  7. Decius

    As a Knicks fan, I can totally see Butler and Kyrie on the Knicks after this season. Is there a more rewarding place to win than in NYC? They already have Kristaps and Knox. I know Knox is unproven as of yet, but I like the potential I see. I see Butler and Irving having the balls others don’t and taking on the challenge and winning with the Knicks. Mark it down. It will happen.

    • formerlyz

      I actually also think that’s going to happen. That team is finally being built properly, and with the right coach who can develop these guys, and they’ll have the cap room to do it, and Kyrie grew up a Knicks fan, and apparently always wanted to play with the Knicks, and Butler wants to play with Kyrie…obviously a lot can happen in a year, but I would say it currently looks like this will happen

    • padam

      Knicks just need to open enough room for a second max contract, but otherwise I see it happening as well.

  8. No player with Butler’s contract, at his age, and coming off even a good season, would take an extension at this point. It’s like rewriting his contract downward. Guys with the leverage to do so, negotiate a 3/1 (or 4/1) contract for a reason. Same with KI and the Warriors duo, and I’m sure others although I don’t recall other teams publicly saying they offered one.

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