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The fallout of the Jimmy Butler trade, who deserves the most blame for his situation, Towns and Wiggins, and the Wolves recent surge are all covered by Rambling On Wolves analyst Beartrap McManus.
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What is your final analysis of the Jimmy Butler trade?
Covington and Saric are solid players that fit the teams needs and are on advantageous contracts. Without knowing exactly what else was out there, I think it was a pretty good deal and that they likely wouldn’t have gotten without allowing the Butler shitshow to go on as long as it did.
Now that it’s all over, how do you assign blame for how things went down? How much of it is on Butler, Thibs, and Taylor?
Thibs, almost entirely. He brought Butler in and was responsible for keeping him happy and willing to stay. For whatever reasons, he wasn’t able to. Taylor shares some blame for allowing Thibs all that power as well.
Some commentators suggest that if Wiggins and Towns played harder, Jimmy would have wanted to stay. If this is the case, does it concern you that the Wolves are building their future around two players who might just not care all that much? Does this exonerate Butler at all?
I don’t think that’s the case. Butler’s issues seemed to be with management and regarding his contract more than anything. While there have rightfully been questions about Wiggins’ effort, I don’t think the same can be said for Towns. KG, a similarly maniacal workhorse, had nothing but good things to say about KAT during his brief return to ‘Sota.
The Wolves were going to build their future around Wiggins and Towns regardless of Butler. Their window to compete for a championship with Butler in his prime wasn’t all that big to begin with, and the chances of anyone competing with the Warriors as their core is in their primes remain unlikely even, especially considering all the recent turmoil in that most Golden of States.
I think, if anything, Jimmy’s tenure as a Wolf serves as an indictment of his leadership abilities. Wiggins and Towns were a pretty effective two-headed beast before he arrived, and it would be tough to argue that he made them better in his time here. Jokes about him destroying the psyche of the already struggling Markelle Fultz lit up Twitter as soon as news of the trade broke.
All the Wolves have done is win since Butler left - literally. Is this a trend or a mirage? What did you think of their two post-Butler games?
It’s far too soon to judge anything really, but it was refreshing to see them beat a bad Nets team short-handed and get a win over a good NOLA team with both the new additions and Wiggins and Towns all playing well.
Beartrap McManus is an NBA and Timberwolves expert. He has been a life coach for Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland since before time, a consultant for Rambling On since its founding, and Timberwolves analyst beginning in Series Five. He resides with his wife and twelve kids in Hurley, Wisconsin, where his wife owns a popular supper club.