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Inside the NBA’s Most Disappointing Team

Feb+3%2C+2018%3B+Minneapolis%2C+MN%2C+USA%3B+Minnesota+Timberwolves+guard+Jimmy+Butler+%2823%29+controls+the+ball+against+the+New+Orleans+Pelicans+during+the+second+half+at+Target+Center.+The+Timberwolves+won+118-107.+Mandatory+Credit%3A+Jeffrey+Becker-USA+TODAY+Sports
Feb 3, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) controls the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 118-107. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 3, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) controls the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 118-107. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 3, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) controls the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 118-107. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cristian Martinez, Staff Writer/Club Treasurer

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The date is June 22, 2017 and it is the NBA Draft. You are the Minnesota Timberwolves who has a very promising young core of Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine, and Kris Dunne, even though the latter had a disappointing rookie season. Thirteen straight seasons have passed for the franchise in the league with the longest streak of not making it into the playoffs even though every year, the analysts are expecting for your young players to make the next step and get you to a playoff berth. It was on this day that the Timberwolves traded for Chicago Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler in exchange for young pieces Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and 2017 first-round pick Lauri Markkanen in a blockbuster trade that some saw as would only benefit in the short-term while others argued that it would allow the team to be competitive for years to come.

Coming into the 2017- 2018 NBA season, many saw the Timberwolves as a potential contender in the heavily stacked Western Conference that contains teams such as the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, who recently had traded for Chris Paul. Many sports analysts projected the team to be either a 4th or 5th seed in the conference, which is no easy task in the West.

Throughout the season, the Timberwolves had obtained more players from the Chicago Bulls’ former glory days during the Derrick Rose Era in which Butler and Coach Tom Thibodeau played a large role in. Contrary to all of the projections, the Timberwolves fell short of those expectations, inpart due to Butler’s injury, and barely edged into the playoffs as an 8th seed. They were going against the first seed Houston Rockets with MVP James Harden, which was going to be a difficult matchup for any team. While they did not get swept by the Rockets, they nearly did as they only won a single game off the Rockets. People believed that this was only due to this being the first year of a large shake in the team and expected them to adapt the next season.

However it now seems very unlikely for the Timberwolves in light of recent reports. On July 3rd, 2018, reports from Butler’s camp noted that he was beginning to become fed up with the nonchalant younger players on the team, especially Karl Anthony Towns. He would enter into contract extension negotiations with the team and ask for a salary that was somewhat similar to Andrew Wiggins’ lofty contract that many are still criticising to this day. The team rejected the amount of money he want and nothing much happened after that.

It was in this past September that would shake the NBA somewhat. Butler was getting more frustrated with the organization and the lack of progress being made surrounding his contract. Coach Thibodeau and Butler met up last month to discuss Butler’s plans for the future regarding the team. It was in his meeting that the requested a trade from the organization. After the report surrounding the request was released, the other teams were calling the Timberwolves.

At the time of writing this, the Timberwolves have continued to ask for a price that is simply too high for a player whose trade value is not the highest due to his want to get out of Minnesota and who is on the last year of his contract. Butler and his agent have both expressed his preference to go to the Miami Heat, where he would rejoin Bulls teammate Dwyane Wade, who is in his last season. At this point, Butler’s future seems unsure, but hopefully he joins a team that he would feel comfortable with. However for the meantime, Butler is going to continue playing for the Timberwolves.

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Inside the NBA’s Most Disappointing Team