Report: Jimmy Butler aiming to team up with Kyrie Irving in free agency
Jimmy Butler may be on his way out of Minnesota far sooner than the Timberwolves ever envisioned, with a report suggesting the star is “fed up” with his younger teammates, particularly Karl-Anthony Towns. What’s worse, Butler reportedly is already making plans for his future beyond the Timberwolves.
While Butler has one year remaining on his contract before he can opt out of his deal and become a free agent in 2019. The Timberwolves reportedly offered the 28-year-old Butler a maximum extension over the weekend. But from the sound of it, it’s unlikely Butler will accept the deal.
The Chicago Sun-Time’s Joe Cowley reports Butler is “all but fed up with the nonchalant attitude of his younger teammates,” including Towns. Butler, much to Minnesota’s presumed chagrin, reportedly is already setting his sights on joining forces with Kyrie Irving on an Eastern Conference team.
“Whether that means the Celtics try and acquire Butler this summer or the two simply wait a year, both opt out of their player options after the season, and join forces that way,” Cowley reports.
Butler of course is among the most competitive players in the NBA, especially on the defensive end of the court. The Timberwolves young nucleus, highlighted by Towns and Andrew Wiggins, have been oft-criticized for treating a commitment to playing competent defense as an afterthought, despite head coach Tom Thibodeau’s reputation as a defensive guru.
And this is not the first time the revelation that Butler is not impressed with his younger teammates has surfaced.
The Wolves obviously would like to keep Butler in the fold as Towns, Wiggins and others mature and grow into more complete players. From the sound of it, Minnesota’s best-laid plans at returning to long-term respectability have already hit a troubling snag.