Thibodeau: Timberwolves looking to make ‘the right deal’ for Jimmy Butler

September 24, 2018

In his first public comments since news of Jimmy Butlers trade request broke last week, Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said Monday the organization is looking to make the right deal for Butler.

If something is good for us, were interested in doing it, Thibodeau said at the Timberwolves media day at Target Center.

Butler did not participate in media day as the Timberwolves work to facilitate a trade, but he was in the building Monday to complete a physical exam. Thibodeau said Butler will not be on the court when the team opens training camp Tuesday, asserting that Butler needs conditioning work that will keep him off the court for another week.

He said if Butler has not been traded by the time he is ready to be on the court, the expectation is that Butler would practice with the Wolves.

Thibodeau sidestepped questions about whether he could envision Butler playing with Minnesota this season, instead focusing on the Wolves guidelines for making a trade.

When you look at who Jimmy is, hes a top 10 player in the league. Were not going to make a bad deal, Thibodeau said, adding that he, owner Glen Taylor and general manager Scott Layden have made that clear to teams trying to acquire Butler.

A source close to the Butler negotiations told the Star Tribune this weekend that Thibodeau was initially hesitant to make a trade.

Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, spoke with Thibodeau and Layden recently to get everybody on the same page, the source said.

Thibodeau said he isnt worried about his own authority or job security in the wake of Butlers request, saying hes committed to making the best move possible. Thibodeau also made it clear Monday that all teams are in play with a trade, not just the three (Clippers, Knicks and Nets) on Butler’s reported wish list.

We have to do whats best for us, he said. It may not be a team you feel like you wanted to go to.

As for his relationship with Butler a player Thibodeau helped develop in Chicago and who helped the Wolves reach the postseason last year for the first time since 2004 Thibodeau said, Were fine. Ive been around Jimmy a long time. He was straightforward. I was straightforward with him. Were good.

With a trade seemingly inevitable, the Wolves will remake their roster around young cornerstone players Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

Towns on Sunday signed a five-year, $190 million extension that kicks in a year from now, while Wiggins expensive five-year deal starts this year.

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