Timberwolves power struggle could decide Jimmy Butler’s fate

The Jimmy Butler trade negotiations are non-existent at the moment.

According to ESPN.com, the Timberwolves are telling interested teams Bulter is an elite player they do not plan on trading. Butler requested a trade from the team Wednesday, telling team president and coach Tom Thibodeau that he was only willing to sign an extension with the Clippers, Knicks and Nets, with Los Angeles being his top choice.

Whether or not the Timberwolves trade Butler, who is entering the final year of his contract, could come down to who is making the decision in the organization. Thibodeau, whose future in Minnesota is murky, prefers to keep the star forward and is determined to try to improve a team that finished as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference last season.

But, according to the report, Timberwolves owner Glenn Taylor also plans to be heavily involved in the decision. It’s unclear whether Taylor prefers Butler be traded or not.

If Butler does ultimately stay, the team has some chemistry issues that need to be addressed. Butler’s camp has downplayed a fractured locker room as the reason for wanting to leave Minnesota, but the issues between him and the other star players — particularly Andrew Wiggins — on the team were evident after news of Butler’s trade request leaked.

Wiggins’ brother, Nick, proclaimed “hallelujah” and Butler eventually clapped back on Instagram. Andrew and Nick then got into a feud with retired forward Stephen Jackson about Butler’s importance to the team.

One thing that is clear: The Timberwolves have a lot to consider before making a decision that will alter the franchise permanently.

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