Minnesota Timberwolves have big plans for the future, and they include their All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, whom they offered a contract extension this summer. But according to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, Butler decided to decline and will wait for the summer of 2019 when he hopes he could fetch a better deal.
“We offered him the extension, and they’ve met and come back to us and said they’re really appreciative of it, they appreciate that we got to them right away and all that, but they declined it,” – Taylor told ESPN 1500. “They said, ‘You guys have done everything and we’re very appreciative, but our bet is that we should wait ’til next year and we could get ourselves a better deal.’ … We did everything we could, and they want to do what they think is right for Jimmy.”
While Taylor declined to specify the exact offer Timberwolves presented to Butler, ESPN reports that they offered four-years, $100 million deal to the 28-year-old. He is currently earning $16.4 million.
“Jimmy’s taking some gamble here, too,” – Taylor added. “That he won’t get injured or that for some reason or another, he has a bad year. Both of us are taking some risk. I think the main thing is we have to play really well this year and be very competitive, and I think Jimmy, as other star players, will want to play on a team that does well and has the potential of doing better.”
Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Jimmy Butler in the summer of 2017, wanting to pair him with their young stars Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and finally make the postseason for the first time in 14 years. Butler did help the Timberwolves to snap NBA’s longest active playoff drought, but they were eliminated in the first round by the Houston Rockets. Despite struggling with injuries, Butler put out respectable numbers in the last season, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game.
Now the fact that Jimmy Butler rejected the extension from the Timberwolves might be a financial decision. The salary cap is expected to rise next year which could potentially bring Butler a lot more money if he continues to play on this level. However, there are rumors around the league that Butler is becoming irritated by the attitude of Minnesota’s young stars and that he is looking to go somewhere else in the summer of 2019.