Wolves sign Towns to 5-year, $190 million extension

Wolves sign Towns to 5-year, $190 million extension

Four-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn is one of his three preferred destinations.

Towns' willingness to finally sign his max deal means that he nearly certainly has been assured he's never going to have to see Butler in the Wolves' locker room ever again.

As much as Thibodeau might like Butler - Thibodeau coached Butler for four seasons with the Chicago Bulls and acquired him in June 2017 - Butler has no interest in being in Minnesota and Towns does. With Towns being the younger of the two, one would think Minnesota would commit to a future with him quickly.

A person familiar with the talks has told AP that the Timberwolves have had some conversations with clubs, talks that were originally described as the team gauging what the trade market might be for Butler.

Nevertheless, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has become fully engaged in the decision-making process on a potential Butler trade and is far more open to the idea of orchestrating a deal than president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, league sources said. Thibodeau, a relentless competitor, would rather hang onto Butler.

Taylor has overseen high-profile Minnesota stars getting traded in the past, including Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love. It was a bad sign when this week's meeting between Butler and Thibodeau was moved from Minneapolis Monday to Los Angeles Tuesday. He could possibly do it if the Butler trade request is accomplished before the start of the new season. Though Butler was limited to 59 games due to an injury, the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2004. He hasn't missed a single game in his pro career, playing and starting in all 82 in each of his three regular seasons as well as the Timberwolves' five playoff games last spring.

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For the Los Angeles Clippers, this may work out better in their favor.

Pairing Butler and Kawhi Leonard could have the Clippers in the championship conversation, but with many teams courting them next summer, nothing is guaranteed.

The status of Minnesota's leading scorer previous year, however, remains most uncertain.

Butler has clashed with Towns and Wiggins as teammates, league sources said.

Again, for Towns that is a $158 million extension, unless he makes an All-NBA team again (he was third team last season) or is named MVP, then that jumps to $190 million.

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