Tom Thibodeau Not Interested In Rebuilding

Despite the fact that Jimmy Butler seeking a trade out of Minnesota, head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau is reportedly averse to the idea of dealing his star swingman, preferring to keep Butler around and push for the playoffs again in 2018/19. As Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reports, citing multiple league sources, Thibodeau is even less inclined to move Butler in exchange for “young, rebuilding-type pieces.”

According to Deveney, Thibodeau initially made the move from Chicago to Minnesota because he thought that the Timberwolves were on the path to contention, and last summer’s acquisition of Butler was meant to accelerate that process. Dealing Butler for a package of young players and/or picks would mean taking a step back, and Thibodeau has “zero interest” in that scenario, Deveney notes.

“No one expects Tom to coach a 25-win or even 35-win team,” one front-office executive told Deveney. “Even if he has to agree to dissolve the contract, they’d do that before they go and trade Butler for draft picks.”

While it may be an exaggeration to suggest that Thibodeau would quit before he trades Butler for draft picks, it will be interesting to see whether he and owner Glen Taylor are on the same page when it comes to the All-NBA wing. While Taylor was certainly pleased that the Wolves’ playoff drought ended this past spring, he – like Thibodeau – likely wants to see a deeper postseason run next time around.

The middle ground between keeping Butler and moving him for a package of young players and picks would be to take the route the Spurs did with Kawhi Leonard, attempting to secure a return highlighted by win-now pieces. Of the three teams on Butler’s wish list, the Clippers may be best equipped to offer such a package, but Minnesota figures to expand its list of possible trade partners beyond just the Clippers, Knicks, and Nets.

As Deveney outlines, Minnesota plans to make Butler available to “any team.” The Heat have been cited as one club that could be in the mix, and rival executives believe the Suns and Nuggets will be among the others with interest, according to Deveney. As we’ve seen with Leonard and Paul George, high-profile trade candidates don’t always end up where we expect, so it’s worth keeping an eye on those other teams like Phoenix and Denver.

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29 thoughts on “Tom Thibodeau Not Interested In Rebuilding

  1. Good. Dump Thibs ! Overrated bully who is not the right fit . Trade Butler for the best package, one potential star and a 1st rd pick at minimum. Dump all the ex bulls for whatever. Get rid of oh I suck Teague. Let’s get the timberpups going again with a young up and coming coach a la Stevens. Taylor betrayed Saunders’ legacy when he went with Thibs, time to get back on track and build around Towns and Wiggins!

    • Flyboyroy

      Once butler leave, wolves going to be back in the lottery for years to come. The core they have are not trying to win. That’s why he wants out.

      • monymgr

        Not if they fire Thibs and hire young coach who can communicate with his players versus dictating/yelling at them on every procession on the court !!

        • Flyboyroy

          His coaching style didn’t stop A young Chicago team, so why is it stopping them? Players play and coaches coach.

  2. I guess the Suns could throw warren, Tyson and a young wing. Suns are a stud away from being pretty complete. Not sure jimmy is that stud though. More like a Lillard but booker, butler, jackson/bridges, Ariza and ayton would be a pretty damn good 5

  3. nentwigs

    Despite making the playoffs last season by a gnat’s eyebrow, most Timberpuppy followers have had their fill of Thibodeau’s Kool-Aid,
    To Glen Taylor: are you totally unable to make a hire in the basketball business that is capable of generating the success experienced in your SUCCESSFUL other business ventures???

  4. Butler says he wants traded before the teams photoshoot Monday. Thibbs job is on the line. He knows he is on the hot seat after giving up Markennan, LaVine, and Dunn for Butler.

  5. hiflew

    “Even if he has to agree to dissolve the contract, they’d do that before they go and trade Butler for draft picks.”

    Now I am not a big fan of Sixers-style rebuilds because I believe they do a disservice to real fans. However, even I think the above statement is crazy. How is even possible that getting rid of him for nothing could be better than trading him for draft picks?

    • Luke Adams

      I’m not 100% sure about this, but I read that as Thibodeau’s own contract rather than Butler’s. Either way, it sounds like it’s just one executive’s opinion, so it may be overstating things.

  6. Sounded to me like butler didn’t like the young guys professionalism. Wiggins and towns stock are high. Why not move Wiggins?

      • His stock is only going to go down from here. Could probably draw in a solid player or 2

        • x%sure

          Negative trade value due to overpay. MIN would have to send out more assets to get someone to take his contract. In +/- he is still minus! For what, $33MM. He was supposed to be a good defender!

      • southbeachbully

        You are insane. You are a victim of a “narrative” that isn’t neccesarily proven to be true. Andrew Wiggins is NOT over paid. His contract is NOT an albatross. He’s a freakin’ 23 yo who, the year before Butler came into the picture, had a slash of 45/35/76 and 24pts, 4 rbd and 2 assists. He has time to grow and become better. At age 23 Butler was in his 2nd season and he never started a single game. Butler was a 3 year college player. Wiggins was a one and done. Let’s be real. What professional has he had on his squad to learn from? My mind is completely blown that people can not understand that maybe, just maybe, Butler coming to the T-Wolves HURT Wiggins. If you have a teammate that’s calling you out and speaking ill about you maybe that got into Wiggins head. Still, even after this season’s slight tail off on his numbers, he still had a solid numbers. He is NOT overpaid. He’s proven to be a durable player. Maybe he has shortcomings defensively. What 23 yo is a complete player at that age.

        Butler is NOT a franchise player. He may WANT to go to a team and be it’s leader, but if he’s the BEST player on whatever team he goes to, is that team going to be better than the GSW??? Most would take Curry, Klay and Durant over Butler. This is a glaring example of how the media creates a narrative, the fans swallow it whole and it’s all one-sided.

        Also, stupid people like Jason Whitlock pass on this narrative that the Cavs traded Wiggins because LBJ, the front office, etc think that Canadian players are too soft. The reason why Wiggins was traded was because LBJ didn’t want to wait for him to develop, thought Kevin Love was the perfect high IQ player that he wanted to play with. Cavs’s bigs were redundant in that they were high energy guys (Tristan and Varejao) but were one-dimensional offensively. Love complemented LBJ more than Wiggins who basically plays the same position. Also, coming out of college, Wiggins was not a shooter he was a slashing scorer. The Cavs already had Irving and Waiters (who was later traded for a what? A SG that could hit the outside shot and more perimeter defense (Smith and Shumpert).

        Wiggins is NOT the issue. Butler is. Build around Wiggins. Press him to improve on his defense and let him get his 25pts, 5 rebounds and go from there.

        • x%sure

          Agree on Cavs part & Whitlock wrong. Wolves will build around Wiggins (and Towns)… they have to! I think Wiggins would be more comfortable playing inside more offensively. A 4 like Tolliver should be a good complement… can’t say that Dieng or Bjelica have been. Tolliver is one of the top FA signings this summer.

    • Flyboyroy

      I agree. Seems like Wiggins is the real problem. His work ethic is the one that should be in questions. Its year 5 and you haven’t made any significant move toward this stardom potential everyone thought you were heading towards.

  7. As NBC Sports reported, this is about Wiggin’s and Anthony-Town’s contracts not them personally. The Timberwolves offered Butler a 4 year extension worth $100mm. He’d be a 4 time All Star making less than Wiggins with more experience. To get the 4 year $120mm contract renegotiaion have to cut their roster back to just starters or offer Wiggins for no salary in return. It’s no wonder Anthony-Towns is waiting to see what happens with Butler. The Timberwolves now are really regretting offering Wiggins his contract.

  8. Good riddance Thibs, don’t let the door hit you on your way out!!!
    BTW don’t need you to comeback to the league again, just go coach in college, China or just go home & play domino with Butler in the summers.

  9. x%sure

    If Macdonough (Suns GM) uses Ariza to get Butler he will want us to think that’s why he went after Ariza.

  10. If he goes, it would probably be beneficial to get a structure where the guy coaching down on the court and the guy making the calls up in the front office aren’t the same guy.

  11. monymgr

    Trade JB to 76ers for Fultz, Covington and pick .. Fire Thibs hire young college coach along with experience GM ..

  12. dust44

    Still the worst trade for a Star ever. U gave up Markkanen who would of looked great next to KAT and LaVine who was a great fit next to Wiggins. If they both were invested in playing D that’s a very long athletic wing duo. Thibs will never b a huge young guy dominate coach. Which is exactly y the Wolves should of never hired him.

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