Team owners sometimes put their general managers in difficult positions with comments about players, but even by those standards, what Minnesota Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor has reportedly done stands out. As per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Taylor said at the NBA board of governors’ meetings that his team will be trading Jimmy Butler (despite the front office’s comments about not wanting to do that), and went even further, saying that other teams should contact him personally if they aren’t able to get far with GM Scott Layden and head coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau (Thibodeau, Taylor and Layden are seen left to right above in this photo from Twitter):
As the Minnesota Timberwolves front office tells inquiring rivals that the franchise has no plans to trade All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, owner Glen Taylor had a different message for owners and executives at the NBA’s board of governors meetings: Butler is available, and prospective suitors should contact Taylor himself should they struggle to make progress with general manager Scott Layden, sources told ESPN.
…”The owner’s trading him,” one board of governors attendee told ESPN on Friday. “That was made clear. It’s just a matter of when.”
“He basically said, ‘If you don’t get anywhere with [Layden], and you’ve got something good, bring it to me,” another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Well, that certainly seems like a healthy way to run an organization. And Woj notes that this may wind up leading to a showdown between Taylor and Layden and/or Thibodeau. So the Jimmy Butler situation may lead to more than just him leaving town. Of course, it’s possible that Layden and Thibodeau can live with trading Butler (and it’s seeming more and more like they’ll have to), but it seems like their leverage may be even further reduced with Taylor offering a direct line over thier heads to other owners. We’ll see how it all plays out, but this definitely isn’t a report that says great things about the state of the Timberwolves.