Even if the Lakers were willing to include Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in a trade, it would have to be a pretty complex trade likely involving three teams. Taylor told other owners and executives at this week's National Basketball Association board of governors meeting that they should contact him if they struggle to make progress in trade talks with general manager Scott Layden, sources told Wojnarowski. Taylor gave the final OK when the franchise traded past stars Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love, and he will certainly get involved if Thibodeau is turning down quality trade offers. Thibodeau is said to be resisting the idea.
The coming days might prove to pivotal in the futures of Butler and the Timberwolves, as posturing will turn to action, or inaction, with the passing of a brief amount of time.
And from the type of assets that the Wolves could potentially get from Butler's preferred destinations (Brooklyn, New York, and the Los Angeles Clippers), this might have been the checkmate move.
The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July. Now the most prominent player of the group wants out. For most teams, their young players have already been in town for a couple of weeks.
Butler will join a free-agent class that could include Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker.
Technically, Butler is now signed through the 2019-20 season, but he has a player option for that final year and will nearly certainly opt out of the deal.