A player such as Middleton would also fit the Timberwolves’ cap situation quite well.
Middleton will reportedly only make $13 million this season. Armed with an opt-out clause, he can test the free agent market next season. There would only be a handful of teams who can offer Middleton what he will be allowed to command. That means the team which owns his Bird Rights will have the advantage in keeping him.
The Timberwolves will have cap restrictions after this season for two summers. Anyone the Timberwolves get in return for the Butler trade must be a fiscal fit going forward.
What that means for the Timberwolves is no long-term contracts will be coming back when they move Butler. Swapping him for Middleton would do a world of good for the Timberwolves financially.
If Middleton were to walk after the end of the season the Timberwolves they would shed at least his $13 million off the books. If the Timberwolves tried to re-sign him, he would come cheaper than the four-year, $100 million deal Butler turned down over the summer. Either way, the Timberwolves would be off the hook from handing a huge deal to a player who does not want to be there.
It will likely not come to fruition, but Khris Middleton would be a great fit with the Timberwolves if they were to acquire him for Jimmy Butler. This is no indictment on Butler, who was good for the Timberwolves in terms of wins and losses. He no longer wants to be in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Middleton is compatible in the Timberwolves’ locker room, in terms of his scoring versatility, and financially.