Jimmy Butler‘s meeting today with the Timberwolves will determine how much longer he stays in Minnesota, Shams Charania of The Athletic says in a new video (Twitter link). Charania also drops the bombshell that center Karl-Anthony Towns refuses to sign his rookie contract extension until he knows whether Butler will be sticking around.
Problems between Butler and Towns have been reported before, but mostly in behind-the-scenes whispers, usually followed by denials from team officials. Charania’s report is the latest evidence that Towns and Butler appear unable to co-exist over the long term.
“I’m told there won’t be any decision on that until this Jimmy Butler situation resolves itself,” Charania said of Towns’ extension. The 22-year-old center has until until mid-October to accept the five-year, maximum-salary deal.
Charania adds that Wolves management will definitely side with Towns if it comes down to a choice between the two players because Towns’ youth and potential make him too valuable to trade away. He adds that Butler’s relationships with his younger teammates will be among the issues to be discussed at today’s meeting.
Butler reportedly requested the session with coach/executive Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden to clarify his future with the organization. He is expected to opt out of a $19.84MM salary and become a free agent next summer, but there’s a chance that Minnesota will trade him before that happens if the front office determines it’s a situation that cannot be salvaged.