Butler wants out of Minnesota for contractual purposes, but as of Friday, reports said the Timberwolves were rebuffing trade inquiries. 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.
That's now in the past, with Towns agreeing to the deal, which could grow to as much as $190 million over the next five years if Towns reaches certain thresholds during this upcoming season.
Throughout the upcoming season, there will be conflicting reports about Butler and Leonard. He earned the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year award, and led the Wolves to their first Western Conference playoffs in 13 seasons this past year.
Butler also talked this summer with fellow star Kyrie Irving about potentially teaming up somewhere down the line, either in Boston where Irving now plays or in another city.More news: CT Red Cross volunteers help with storm relief in Carolinas
More news: Samsung Galaxy A7 to be Equipped with a Triple-Camera Setup
More news: Oil Rises as Dollar Declines, Supply Concerns Persist
The Nets made Butler's list, but what would general manager Sean Marks be willing to trade for a player he could potentially sign in free agency next offseason?
This has raised questions about whether ownership and the front office, along with head coach Tom Thibodeau, are seeing eye to eye on the Butler situation. The hope within the Timberwolves organization was Butler, Towns, and Andrew Wiggins would be the next lethal Big 3 in the National Basketball Association for years to come. They lost in the first round to the Houston Rockets. At this point, however, it appears it would be best for all parties if Butler is moved as soon as possible. Butler's arrival helped guide the T-Wolves to a 47-35 season, which was their highest win total since 2003-04.
When George indicated that he wanted to play for the Los Angeles Lakers two summers ago, the Indiana Pacers traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
All three of those players were sent packing shortly after making it clear they wanted to play elsewhere.
The appeal of trading for Butler lies with the 2019 free agent class. Brooklyn has room for two max contracts.