Woj’s Latest: Butler, Timberwolves, Thibodeau

In a piece regarding the final days of the Jimmy Butler saga in Minnesota, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN provides a closer look into the Timberwolves‘ front office and the back-and-forth that went down before the trade was finally completed. Let’s dive into some of the highlights he provides:

  • Tom Thibodeau sold Timberwolves‘ owner Glen Taylor on passing on the initial offer from the Heat centered around Josh Richardson because he believed that Pat Riley would come back with a better offer down the road (the Heat never returned with Richardson on the table in subsequent trade talks).
  • Taylor considered firing Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden this past summer before the Butler saga broke out and continues to think about the possibility of replacing both of them.
  • According to Woj, the Timberwolves desperately tried to find other trade partners throughout the past week, including reaching out to the Pelicans and Wizards, to no avail. The Wolves actually had “extensive” discussions with the Pels, but New Orleans wouldn’t offer Jrue Holiday or multiple draft picks. Washington, meanwhile wouldn’t offer Bradley Beal, which comes as no surprise.
  • The Sixers initially offered the Timberwolves their choice of Robert Covington and Dario Saric in an offer for Butler before eventually agreeing to include both players.
  • The Sixers believe they are operating out of a position of leverage when it comes to dealings with Butler. According to Woj, there are league executives that understand that Butler must be on his best behavior in order to get the full five-year max contract he desires this summer.
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12 thoughts on “Woj’s Latest: Butler, Timberwolves, Thibodeau

  1. sportsfan101

    Sounds like a stupid owner to me who has no idea how to run his team

  2. Jason Lancaster

    Thibs should absolutely be fired for mismanaging the Butler trade request.

    But Glenn Taylor should be fired for being one of the worst owners in the league.

  3. Richard Weiss

    I don’t agree that the Miami deal was better than the Philly deal. The Philly pieces fit nicely with the Wolves. It improves their depth, 3 pt shooting, and rebounding which are all weaknesses. Bayless could help as well. Granted it was a dysfunctional situation created by an ego-maniac that turned on his Coach and Teammates. The T Wolves chemistry will improve dramatically and could surprise a lot of people.

  4. nentwigs

    The Timberpuppies have been snakebit since their inception. It is amazing that their current owner, with many successful enterprises under his belt can’t seem to be able to hire ANYBODY (GM, Coaches, Players) who can turn this joke of a franchise around. Perhaps it is Mr. Taylor who Mr. Taylor should FIRE.

  5. greg1

    Other than not getting a 1st in the deal, I think the Wolves did as well as could be expected in this deal.

    Covington is 27 and on a term term deal. Saric is young, and while struggling now, has a bunch of upside. Their ages line up with KAT and Wiggins. They give the Wolves things they didn’t have including 3PT shooting.

  6. x%sure

    The Miami deal was better because it included guards. Richardson would have a small shift to make, but he is better than any ex-6er, esp with that contract. All MIN got was forwards but they already have forwards. Wiggins is less comfortable at guard.

    Wolves will have to move at least one of Saric, Roco or Bayless, so there is still FO work to do.

    Easy to believe Thibs turned down Richardson because he thought Riley would come back. But he got shut down instead!
    I think that trade would have helped both teams.

    • x%sure

      I mean, JRich can move to guard better than Wiggins can, or has.

      I’m assuming the Miami trade was JRich, Waiters & a 1st for Butler. Not sure adding Dieng and say, JJohnson was ever on the table.

      No doubt Butler’s talent overshadows the others. I am surprised nobody offered more than Philly did.

  7. Z-A

    I honestly had very little faith in this FO, which includes ownership [sixers]. However this is reassuring. 1 Because despite the 1st Team All NBA Def, fans know RoCo is an avg at best player. That front loaded contract was one of the few smart moves by Bryan C. 2 Because we would have to pay Dario, too much, even though his role is vital a 3&D PF, not just a shooter like Love or Anderson. That will be hard to replace. Maybe Chandler or Bolden fill that role, tbd, Chandler isnt an great 3pt shooter. But getting Butler in the door was key, any of the top FAs needed to get in the door first. They only can afford 1 move, I was all in for trading the farm for Lillard, but they like Fultz, so hope he can shoot better, if not him Zhaire needs to pan out. Trading up for one of the big 3 in the draft will be near impossible.

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