The rift between Minnesota Timberwolves’ stars Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns is reportedly keeping the latter from signing his rookie contract extension. Butler, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer, is expected to meet with head coach Tom Thibodeau today to discuss his future with the team.
According to Shams Charania: “There’s been a lot uncertainty around Jimmy Butler all summer. He hasn’t been back to Minnesota. This is going to be a telltale week for him. Very much so, I’m told, this a last-ditch meeting for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Tom Thibodeau, and how they respond and how Jimmy responds to it will be interesting.”
Furthermore, Charania notes that Karl-Anthony Towns still has not signed his rookie max extension and there won’t be any decision on that until the Jimmy Butler issue has been resolved. Of course, one would expect the Wolves to cater to their 22-year old All-Star center if they’re forced to choose between the two.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Minnesota can fer Butler a five-year, $189.7 million max contract — with a max deal elsewhere worth four years, $140.6 million. If the 29-year old All-Star does not sign the extension, Woj notes, “Rival executives believe that Butler could come available on the market by the February trade deadline if Minnesota fears that it will lose him for nothing in July free agency.”