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Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau don’t want to hand Jimmy Butler to elite team like Rockets

Glen Taylor, Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves, Rockets, Tom Thibodeau

The Minnesota Timberwolves have left an open-ended promise to star swingman Jimmy Butler, vowing to find him a suitable trade at some point this season. Yet there is suspicion that the front office, comprised of president/head coach Tom Thibodeau and meddling owner Glen Taylor will resist the idea of providing a powerhouse in the making like the Houston Rockets a third superstar player to create the next superteam.

Marc Stein of The New York Times prompted this very idea during his weekend newsletter, one that has swirled throughout the NBA in many occasions, given the tough time the Western Conference has had catching up to the Golden State Warriors.

“I’m not hugely surprised that the Wolves resisted Houston’s trade offer last week of four future first-round picks for Butler, along with the contracts of Brandon Knight and Marquess Chriss. The stated reason was that the Rockets’ latest proposal features zero players who can help Minnesota immediately, but the biggest factor was presumably this: Minnesota’s owner, Glen Taylor, and coach Tom Thibodeau are in strong agreement about not wanting to surrender Butler to the Rockets and set them up with a third elite player alongside James Harden and Chris Paul.”

Teams like the Timberwolves may have a road to win in the future if Kevin Durant should decided to leave Golden State, but Minnesota could crush that potential if they hand Jimmy Butler to the Rockets, especially when they don’t meet most of their trade criteria.

Houston offered the unwanted contracts of Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss as a salary-filler for the Jimmy Butler contract, along with four first-round picks — an offer that doesn’t give the Wolves an immediate return to help them win — perhaps the most important of the many conditions Glen Taylor and Tom Thibodeau have put in this transaction.