Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler has “no intentions” of signing an extension in Minnesota and is “all but fed up with the nonchalant attitude of his younger teammates,” according to a Chicago Sun-Times report on Tuesday.
The report specifically names big man Karl-Anthony Towns as a teammate whose attitude has peeved Butler. It adds that Butler feels like “he’s being recruited harder by other teams” than by his own, and Butler is trying to find a way to team up with Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving on a team somewhere in the Eastern Conference.
Butler and Irving each can opt out of the final year of their contracts next summer and become unrestricted free agents. Irving told reporters in June that signing an extension with the Celtics this offseason “doesn’t make any sense,” and recent reports have indicated Butler feels similarly with regard to the Wolves, despite Minnesota’s reported intention to offer Butler a four-year, max-level extension worth $110 million once he is eligible on July 9.
Both players stand to make significantly more money by waiting to sign an extension — or a deal with another team — next offseason. Each would become eligible for a five-year deal worth around $188 million if they sign next summer with their current teams, or a four-year deal around $140 million if changing teams via free agency.
Per the Sun-Times, Butler and Irving have had plans to join forces for some time now, and Butler appealed to Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson to trade for Irving last June, when Irving was still with the Cleveland Cavaliers and shortly before Butler was dealt to Minnesota.
Butler was sent to Minnesota during the 2017 draft for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the No. 8 overall pick that year, Lauri Markkanen.
The 28-year-old appeared in 59 games in his first year with the Wolves, missing time late in the season due to right knee surgery. He averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists — all slightly lower than the figures he posted with Chicago the previous season.
Butler is due to make $18.7 million in 2018-19, the fourth-year of a five-year, $92.3 million extension he signed with Chicago.
–Field Level Media