A person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that Towns will be signing a five-year super-max extension worth $190 million. That report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski came with a caveat that Butler's availability depended on team owner Glen Taylor's approval.
Thibodeau's general manager, Scott Layden, had been shutting down trade inquires for Butler in recent days, and Taylor has demanded that Layden not only take calls on potential deals, but reach out to initiate conversations, sources said.
Butler's list of preferred destinations includes the Clippers, Nets and Knicks. Taylor is attending the NBA's Board of Governors meetings today in NY, which include owners and top basketball executives.
Towns is going into his fourth season, was an All-Star for the first time a year ago and was the Timberwolves' second-leading scorer last season at 21.3 points per game. As much as the Lakers would surely love to pair LeBron James with a co-star, they couldn't trade for Butler without including Lonzo Ball or Brandon Ingram. The Wolves will hold their media day on Monday - the team already has excused Butler from having to attend that event - and Butler's camp has told the Wolves he won't be available for "on-court activities" to start training camp. The Timberwolves can put the offers they get in front of and his agent, see which teams he would consider re-signing with as a free agent next summer, then using that to get a better deal out of them.
The team recently signed Luol Deng to a one-year contract for the veteran minimum. He declined and by asking for a trade this early, Butler is doing the Wolves a favor in hoping to get assets in exchange instead of walking away and leaving the team empty-handed.
It had been a tumultuous team-up for Butler to say the least.