Meeting with Tom Thibodeau did not sway Jimmy Butler's trade request

Associated Press

Associated Press

Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said.

The front office's strategy on the trade discussions could park Butler on the sidelines far longer than he had hoped this season, the sources said.

According to The Athletic, Butler has been excused from attending media day and "won't be available for on-court activities" when training camp kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 22. We're not going to make a bad deal.

Essentially head coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden want to keep Butler in Minnesota.

Thibodeau didn't elaborate if that meant Butler would play preseason, or ultimately regular-season games if he isn't dealt in the next month.

But it's another if Thibodeau really is trying to hold onto Butler and ignoring what his boss has told him to do. Some have heard separately from Taylor and the Layden/Thibodeau management team, with little apparent coordination between the two levels of Minnesota's organization.

However, owner Glen Taylor said in a meeting with other front office executives recently in NY that Jimmy Butler is on the trade block, and not only that, Taylor is demanding that Thibodeau and Layden get to work finding a trade partner as soon as possible.

As for the Timberwolves, it's clear that Butler's time with the team is coming to an end.

Sacramento Kings mascot Slamson looks over at Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls on February 6, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

That could potentially work as the Timberwolves are keen to add Gorgui Dieng to any trade that takes place. No one in the National Basketball Association comes close to the $11 million in salary cap space that the Kings possess to absorb a contract, as well as the several expiring contracts - including Zach Randolph ($11.6 million), Iman Shumpert ($11 million) and Kosta Koufos ($8.7 million) - to move onto a team that prefers to clear cap space in July.

If the Pistons are serious about competing in the NBA's Eastern Conference, a good place to start would be trading for the Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler.

The post-LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers could use some proven star power, and Butler would fit that bill.

Even though Butler is set to become a free agent next summer, and could sign a more lucrative, long-term deal then, 40 percent of teams in the league are reportedly interested in making a deal for him now, including the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers and more.

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