The relationship between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jimmy Butler has grown bitter over the course of 16 months.
How long can the Minnesota Timberwolves coexist with disgruntled superstar Jimmy Butler? That question will soon be answered, however, there is a reason to believe that the season could come crashing down in flames.
Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor met with Butler on Sunday morning. Taylor’s mission was to personally check in with Butler after the Timberwolves failed to make a trade prior to the beginning of the NBA season. Both parties left with a mutual understanding that Butler will indeed play nice with his Timberwolves’ teammates.
Getting Butler on the same page with the team could prove to be a difficult task. Butler has gone on record to suggest that many of his more talented teammates are not playing hard enough in order to become winners. Butler’s comments have caused a divide in the Timberwolves’ locker room which seems irreparable as of now.
Despite the confirmed conflict, the Timberwolves intend on Butler playing in the season opener where he will likely start. There is a sense of impending doom hovering over the Timberwolves and it could be devastating to the team going forward.
Jimmy Butler has done everything that he can in order to get away from the Timberwolves. He asked to be traded and criticized the hearts of his Timberwolves’ teammates. Butler even cussed out Timberwolves’ coaches and upper management during a now-infamous scrimmage where he led the third-stringers to a win over the Timberwolves’ starters.
What’s next? Does Butler get into a fist fight with Karl-Anthony Towns or the object of much of his vitriol, Andrew Wiggins? There is already high tension between the three parties.
By failing to deal Butler to the Miami Heat when they had the chance to the Timberwolves have put themselves in a bind and it could cost them a shot at team unity. A clear resolution should have been in store for the Timberwolves.
With a trade with the Miami Heat crumbling at the last minute, the Timberwolves needed to think about what was best for the team. That usually means getting rid of a player who is completely demonstrative to team chemistry. The Timberwolves did not do that.
The hope is that Taylor’s meeting with Butler was done in an effort to salvage the Timberwolves. On the eve of the NBA season are the Timberwolves reacting too little, too late? This has doom written all over it.