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Report: Skepticism about Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau’s desire to trade Jimmy Butler

Tom Thibodeau, Glen Taylor, Scott Layden

Tom Thibodeau, center, addresses the media and a gathering of fans after he was introduced as the new Minnesota Timberwolves NBA basketball head coach Tuesday, April 26, 2016, in Minneapolis. Listening, left, is Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and right, new general manager Scott Layden who was also introduced .(AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Timberwolves president-coach Tom Thibodeau said he’d honor Jimmy Butler’s trade request despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Honoring the trade request means at least exploring offers in good faith, though I’d say it means actually trading Butler.

Some say Thibodeau isn’t meeting even that minimum standard.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Some of this is self-evident. If Minnesota’s asking price for Butler weren’t higher than teams are willing to pay, he’d be traded already. I’m more interested in Thibodeau’s intentions.

Call me skeptical about the skepticism. The threat of Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor stepping in and trading Butler himself looms over this whole process. Wouldn’t other teams rather deal with Taylor, a businessman who got wealthy outside basketball and seems to want to just move on from this drama, than Thibodeau, a basketball expert hellbent on winning? A way to bring Taylor to the forefront is convincing him Thibodeau isn’t following the owner’s directive to trade Butler.

Maybe Thibodeau really is denying great offers. He could be that stubborn. But I wouldn’t blindly trust this anonymously sourced report.

Butler has tremendous value. Minnesota should get a lot for him. Alone, Thibodeau seeking a strong return shouldn’t be seen as a problem.