There were reports of friction between Butler, Towns and Wiggins, but sources say that is not the main reason Butler has decided to move on. Butler was hoping for a renegotiation and extension of his contract this summer, one that would have raised his salary for 2018-19 to $30 million and added another four years and $145 million on to that. But the Timberwolves would have had to cut an enormous amount of salary to pull that off and deemed it unreasonable if they wanted to stay competitive in the near term.
With that off the table, the Wolves offered a four-year, $110 million extension, which was the highest they could go under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. Butler could get a new five-year deal worth $188 million from the Wolves next summer, so he turned that offer down.
Darren Wolfson: #Twolves All-Star Jimmy Butler has officially turned down the Wolves' 4-year, $110M range extension offer, per owner Glen Taylor. Full interview posting soon, which includes stuff on KAT extension talks, Thibs, filling out the roster, and #LosLynx.
Nick Friedell: Thibs on where things stand between T'Wolves and Butler for potential extension: "We know how important Jimmy is to the team. But we don't talk about contract negotiations or anything like that so just get ready for the season."
Albert Nahmad: Jimmy Butler’s $20.4M cap hit for 2018-19 contains both a $1.1M signing bonus allocation and a $604K trade bonus allocation. An extension offer would start at 120% of his $18.7M base salary, and kick in for 2019-20: $22.4M, $24.2M, $26.0M, $27.8M. Total: 4 new years, $100.5M.
Marc Stein: The Timberwolves began free agency by informing star guard Jimmy Butler that they intend to offer him a maximum contract extension valued in the four-year, $110 million range as soon as he's eligible to sign the deal on July 9, league sources say
If Butler signs an extension, it likely will be next summer, when he can become a free agent and sign to stay with the Wolves for considerably more than any other team can pay him. If … “Every day we work at it,” Thibodeau said Thursday. “We know how important he is and we feel he’s one of the best players in the league. So how you manage that on a daily basis is important. I think our communication with him is important.”
Thibodeau made it clear Monday the Wolves’ culture change starts with Butler. He can sign this summer an extension to stay in Minnesota through 2023 before he can opt out of his current contract in summer 2019. “At an appropriate time, we’ll talk to him,” Thibodeau said. “What he did for our organization, we certainly know how important he is and so every day our communication with him is critical. It’s important for him to feel good about everything that we’re doing here.”
In a provision intended to help teams keep their best players, the NBA’s current labor agreement allows the Wolves this summer to negotiate a contract extension with Butler before he can opt out of his contract and become a free agent in summer 2019.
“Jimmy brings a personality and a skill set that is different from some of our other players,” Taylor said. “At least at this point, they don’t have the experience that he has. We found that very helpful to our team this year. He’s a very important part of our future. I’m not sure what they’re thinking and our thinking is. That’s something that will develop as we get into the summer and start talking to Jimmy and his agent.”
July 26, 2021 | 10:15 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: Portland Trail Blazers forward Derrick Jones Jr. will pick up his $9.7 million player option for the 2021-22 season, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Darren Wolfson: Talked w/ #Timberwolves POBO Rosas. Asked him if we can read into the posted pics of Bolmaro’s recent MN trip being a sign he’s coming this summer. “I think it’s fair.” On Ant rehab, “Things are positive.” 1 more: “Way we build this team will be through trade this offseason.”
Anthony Slater: James Bouknight on the Warriors: “I’d fit right in. Playing with Steph, Klay and Draymond, (I’m) someone who can play off the ball and maybe relieve some tension. Then coming in as a reserve, me and Jordan Poole can be a great 1-2 punch off the bench, great scoring combo.” pic.twitter.com/zgrbDfQyCE
July 26, 2021 | 7:35 pm EDT Update
Cade Cunningham has been the public favorite to go No. 1 to the Detroit Pistons since the lottery. While Detroit is surely doing its due diligence, is there any reason to doubt that Cunningham will be the first name we hear on Thursday night? Matt Babcock: I expect Cade Cunningham to be the top overall pick in this draft, selected by the Detroit Pistons. However, I’ve been told that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocking the Pistons’ door down. Rumor has it that the Thunder offered the No. 6 pick and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in exchange for No. 1 — the Pistons declined. If the Pistons receive an offer better than that one, they may need to seriously consider it.
Scottie Barnes has moved up to No. 4 in your latest mock draft, breaking through what is generally considered to be a four-player top tier of Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green and Jalen Suggs. What inspired you to make that change? Babcock: Scottie Barnes’ draft stock seems to be at an all-time high. There’s a lot of buzz swirling around that he’ll be going to either the Toronto Raptors at No. 4 or Orlando Magic at No. 5. I’m not completely convinced that Barnes will end up in Toronto at No. 4; however, it’s what I decided to go with for now. Another thing worth noting is that I’ve heard Toronto is very high on Evan Mobley, who I do not think will be available at No. 4. I could see a trade between Toronto and either Houston or the Cleveland Cavaliers making sense.
Five teams (Oklahoma City, Orlando, Golden State, New York and Houston) currently own multiple first-round picks. Do you expect movement from any of these squads? Babcock: There has been so much trade chatter this year among those teams, but most of the other teams, too. I fully expect there to be a ton of movement prior to, or during, this year’s draft.
However, two other names also are swirling around. Moses Moody has been someone league sources have said the Grizzlies are very interested in. He’s one of the most intriguing 3-and-D guys in the draft. In his one year at Arkansas, he made 35.8 percent of his 3-pointers, and nearly 50 percent of his shots came from beyond the arc. Nobody is blown away by 35.8 percent, but scouts/executives believe in his shot and are encouraged by the 81.2 percent he shot from the free throw line. Free-throw percentage is often an indicator of someone discovering long-distance accuracy.
Charlotte Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak has been around the NBA for the better part of five decades, dating back to his days in the late 1970s with Washington. So when he witnesses something a bit unusual, as he has for a hefty portion of these past two months since the season ended, it should be noted.