The news comes after Butler reportedly requested a trade out of the Twin Cities following a meeting with Thibodeau earlier this week in Los Angeles. Those three teams have the salary-cap space to sign Butler outright next summer to a maximum contract extension. The franchise's business operations want to limit the sullying of what had been until now a successful marketing campaign around the franchise's starry young core, league sources said.
Butler turned 29 on September 14 and is his heading into his eighth National Basketball Association season.
However, if he stays with the Timberwolves for the remainder of his contract and then hits free agency, he will only be able to receive a four-year, $140 million contract. They don't want to rush into a deal, but they also don't want to start the season with the discord and awkwardness of Butler still being on the roster.
If Butler doesn't show up to camp, it would make things even more hard for Minnesota. He earned the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year award, and led the Wolves to their first Western Conference playoffs in 13 seasons this past year.
Towns announced Saturday night that he is recommitting to the Timberwolves, securing his future there while Butler's remains a mystery.
The Towns news will undoubtedly be thankfully received by a Minnesota fan base desperate for some kind of positive news after several days of stories surrounding Butler's desire to leave the team. He averaged 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
We'd heard outrageous rumors about Karl-Anthony Towns' girlfriend's supposed infidelity with Butler, and chose to ignore them.
It's the latest development in a Shakespearean drama that has unfolded this week between Butler and the Wolves, helmed by his old friend Tom Thibodeau.