Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns signs super-max extension

Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler could be on the move before the season tips off

Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler could be on the move before the season tips off

Jusuf Nurkic, who signed a four-year, $48 million contract in July, can't be traded until December 15. Towns is entering the final year of his rookie deal but will be in Minnesota for the long haul after agreeing to the deal Saturday.

From the outside, it would appear that reported friction between Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns is the true reason the rift has become this big of an issue.

He told Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day Monday, league sources said.

The growing disconnect between Minnesota's ownership and front office has created an impression for opposing teams that a showdown between Taylor and Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves' president of basketball operations and head coach, looms as an increasingly plausible conclusion to Butler's trade request. In fact, while Towns signing on to stay with the Timberwolves is a positive development, it should only accelerate trade talks involving Butler with other teams. Butler has missed an average of 15 games over the past five seasons. "On September 22, 2018, I made a recommitment to the Wolves and have the same feelings of excitement that I felt back in 2015".

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There was some uncertainty over whether Towns would sign the deal before the October 15 deadline or become a restricted free agent.

"The Lakers can't trade any of their recently signed free agents until winter, meaning they'd have to trade most of their young guys - including both Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball - to get him now". Defense was a also major key point in Thibodeau's first season with the Wolves that led him to bring in players who played under him before. His arrival turned the Wolves from a 30-win team to a 48-win team past year, a win total that would've been significantly higher had Butler remained healthy.

However, Minnesota owner Glen Taylor demanded the All Star be traded as soon as possible.

The super-max deal includes the ability for Towns to earn 30 percent of the Timberwolves' salary cap with the fulfillment of reaching one of the three All-NBA teams, or being voted league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year this season.

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