Jim Mone/Associated Press
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor considered firing head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden in the offseason and “has continued to consider possibilities to eventually replace both of them.”
The Butler saga lasted much longer than Taylor wanted. After the guard put in a trade request in September, the owner reportedly wanted him gone within the “next several days,” per Wojnarowski.
He reiterated his desire to trade Butler shortly before the start of the season.
“I think [Butler has] made it very clear that he would not re-sign with us at the end of the year, and therefore it is in our interest to get a trade so that we can get a player or two to replace him that helps our team,” Taylor said in October, per Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune.
Despite the pressure from above, Thibodeau wanted Butler to stay, per Wojnarowski, and Layden seemed to drag his feet on a deal before finally agreeing to trade him to the 76ers on Saturday.
Minnesota is just 4-9 one year after it earned its first playoff spot since 2003-04.
Though it’s a long season, the start of the year has gone about as poorly as possible, and now a four-time All-Star is headed out the door.
If things don’t turn around quickly, there could be more big changes.