Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke with the Spanish newspaper “Marca” and referred to Luka Doncic and the young Slovenian’s great potential. The “Greek Freak” said Doncic is ready to play in the NBA, as he won the Spanish League, the Euroleague and the EuroBasket last season, while he also was the MVP of the regular season and the Final Four in the Euroleague. “He is the most exciting player that has appeared in basketball… in the recent years. People in the NBA sometimes forget that in the EuroLeague competition, they play very well and very hard. You have to play very well to stand out in the Euroleague,” said Antetokounmpo.
September 23, 2018 | 3:48 am EDT Update
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN. Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.
Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Now Towns will have to follow his bold words with bold action. With his contract out of the way, the Timberwolves have shifted their focus, a source said, to finding a trade partner for Butler, who has been agitating to get out throughout the summer. The expectation from Taylor is that a deal will be done so the Timberwolves can avoid bringing Butler to training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami and Philadelphia are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
They wanted direction on how to proceed with Butler, and Taylor told them: Butler is available in trade talks, and I want it done sooner than later, sources said. “The owner’s trading him,” one Board of Governors source told ESPN. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.” “He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Layden], and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,” another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Taylor has far less of a stomach for a dysfunctional season of feuding among Butler, Towns and forward Andrew Wiggins and the damage that’ll do to the franchise’s image, league sources said. 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.