Report: Timberwolves hopeful to unload Gorgui Dieng in Jimmy Butler trade
The Minnesota Timberwolves are hopeful to unload Gorgui Dieng’s beefy contract in any trade conversations for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Dieng signed a four-year, $64 million extension in 2016, and he still has three years, $48 million left on the deal.
The Wolves are likely to take a loss in a Butler trade given their lack of leverage in the situation. Inquiring teams are well aware Minnesota must move Butler before chaos escalates to a different dimension.
Knowing that, the front office could look to move one of their most burdensome contracts in Dieng, freeing up flexibility for Karl-Anthony Towns’ impending contract extension. Dieng put up 5.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in only 16.9 minutes per game last season, a year after playing over 32 minutes per contest.
President/head coach Tom Thibodeau recently put a halt on any trade talks with other teams, letting them know he intends to keep Butler in a Timberwolves uniform due to his value as an elite player for the organization.
Yet owner Glen Taylor is likely to pursue trade avenues during Friday’s annual owners’ meetings in New York, as he has taken a more active role in trade discussions while looking to do what is best for the franchise.
There is a strong sentiment that Thibodeau is somehow trying to salvage what could be seen as a failed attempt to bring in his former Chicago Bulls star into the fold, as Butler wants out of the Twin Cities only a year after his coach traded for him on draft night.