Tom Thibodeau and Wolves could not win with Jimmy Butler
The Wolves’ 121-110 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night appears to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to trading star swingman Jimmy Butler. Tom Thibodeau just couldn’t go on coaching in the undesirable climate.
Following the news of Jimmy Butler being shipped off to the City of Brotherly Love with oft-injured center prospect Justin Patton for G/F Robert Covington, forward Dario Saric and a 2022 second round pick, ESPN Senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Tom Thibodeau came to the conclusion that the Wolves could not win with Butler. With sources characterizing the situation in Minnesota as a “dysfunctional environment,” Wojnarowski added that Thibodeau told his associates that Butler would not play another game with the team following the loss to the Kings that was the final game of a winless five game road trip for the Wolves.
With the loss, the Wolves have dropped to 4-9 and are 13th in the Western Conference. Now three games out of a playoff spot, Tom Thibodeau the Wolves certainly hope that the additions of Covington and Saric in addition to the removal of Jimmy Butler from the locker room will improve their play with the majority of the season left to be played. Covington and Saric are both above average starters who provide spacing in the starting lineup.
The team certainly has room and the talent to improve without Jimmy Butler, considering the majority of the games they have played so far have been against teams with playoff aspirations. The Wolves’ only two losses to tanking teams have been the most recent loss to the Kings and a 140-136 loss against 3-8 Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 20. Tom Thibodeau will be on a short leash moving forward, and he needs to secure some wins.