Tom Thibodeau’s job just keeps becoming more difficult. His young and inexperienced Minnesota Timberwolves grinder into the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff seed last season.
However, after Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns had a rather poor playoff performance before losing to the Houston Rockets in five games, it was rumored that he was upset with the front office in Minnesota.
Now, a month and a half after Towns reported disgruntlement, Butler is reportedly unhappy with Towns and the rest of the Wolves. He also doesn’t plan to sign an extension.
While an extension was never in play (do to Butler being eligible for a max contract next season), Butler is now rumored to have strong interest in teaming up with fellow USA Basketball teammate and Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving in next summer’s free agency.
Though Towns was a part of arguably the greatest college basketball team ever assembled, his NBA team could potentially take a turn for the worst. Minnesota’s roster is bare past the big-3 of Butler/Towns/Wiggins and the team has two years left on an overpaid Jeff Teague contract.
With Lebron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets’ young core only getting better, the playoffs could be a tough task for Towns and company. Add in Butler could bolt next summer in FA and the Wolves would lose what would be almost an irreplaceable piece of their core.
Thibodeau will have his hands full over the next calendar year to get all three of his stars on the right page, as this season could make or break the franchise and certainly shape the future for KAT.