June 05, 2019
Somehow, people still have new things to say about Jimmy Butler's schism-filled time with the Timberwolves. Incredible, right?
NBA veteran Derrick Rose, who wrote a book about himself, has a little new insider perspective on what Butler was going through when he decided to request a trade from the Wolves early in the 2018-19 season.
PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck noticed the book excerpts in the Minnesota Star Tribune on Wednesday morning:
We already knew that Butler only scored once during the fabled bench-against-starters scrimmage, so that part of Rose's story is not exactly news. The more interesting portion of the story, at least to me, is what he had to say about how Butler viewed Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins getting paid before he got paid.
"'Look, it wasn’t his fault,' Rose wrote of Butler’s situation and trade request. 'It’s the league’s fault. Nothing against Karl-Anthony Towns, he’s cool — and he’s good. But you get these kids and you spoil them before they achieve something.'
"One page later, Rose adds: 'Jimmy was feeling, ‘Why’d y’all pay them first and I was the one that got you to the playoffs?’ That’s all it was. Jimmy wasn’t doing it right, though he was right.'"
For reference, Towns signed a five-year, $190 million deal with the Wolves last September, one offseason after Wiggins signed a four-year, $147 million deal with the team.
This story strikes at the heart of (what seems to be) Butler's ethos. He's a guy who demands to be respected, on and off the court, and when he has that respect, he gives it right back.
But when he feels there's been a breach of respect -- whether because a teammate isn't trying hard enough, or a coach is making bad calls, or the front office isn't paying him what he thinks he deserves -- Butler isn't afraid to voice his displeasure.
While the Sixers' front office tries to determine if Butler is worth a max contract, the details of that potential offer will probably be important to the 29-year-old wing and his camp. ESPN's Brian Windhorst said over the weekend that executives expect the Sixers to offer Butler a max deal. Whether the fifth year will be fully guaranteed, however, is unclear:
If Butler's approach to the Wolves' financial planning is an indication, perhaps that fifth year detail could impact Butler's decision. Then again, maybe it won't. After seven years in the league, Butler still remains fairly mysterious.
The NBA's free agency period begins, mercifully, at 12:01 a.m. on July 1.