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Report: ‘Zero sense’ Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor turned down Heat’s Josh Richardson offer for Jimmy Butler

Glen Taylor, Jimmy Butler, Josh Richardson

Contradicting a recent report from Marc Stein of The New York Times, Minnesota Timberwolves reporter Darren Wolfson disagreed with the idea that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor declined a trade offer from the Miami Heat that reportedly included forward Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick in return for Jimmy Butler.

The Wolves have been chasing Richardson, an up-and-coming 3-and-D talent, for nearly three weeks since Butler’s trade request was made public.

The Heat reportedly finally obliged, packaging him along with a first-rounder and the promise to haul in Gorgui Dieng’s three-year, $48 million contract, which would likely involve a third team jumping in to facilitate the transaction.

Stein’s report suggested Taylor’s wishy-washy storied reputation had awoken again, likely having a hand in this deal not taking place, despite previously urging his front office tandem to move Butler before the start of the season.

That the talks collapsed twice in such a short span should be surprising to no one who has followed the Wolves throughout Taylor’s quarter-century of ownership. The same Taylor who held onto Kevin Garnett and then-General Manager Kevin McHale for too long. Who allowed himself to be talked into hiring the thoroughly ill-prepared David Kahn as McHale’s replacement. Who could have escaped his Butler nightmare by accepting a package from Miami that would have been headlined by the promising Heat swingman Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick.

Has Taylor had a change of mind as of late? Or is he simply in the same state of thought as his front office that the return for Butler is simply not enough?

Wolfson explained that the logic behind the Timberwolves keeping Butler and making him play through the season is driving the price up with a sample of his play, making the pressure of time a friend in this negotiation in which they’ve had very little leverage, considering he has been outspoken about wanting out.

According to Wolfson, it is Thibodeau still at the wheel of this entire saga, with Taylor present, but not interfering with negotiations just yet — despite his previous tactic to talk to other owners before media day rolled around.