Could Thibodeau, Wolves part ways over Butler ordeal?

Former Timberwolves and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau apparently does not have an interest in joining the Lakers as an assistant.

Trade talks involving Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler are “stale” and could have an impact on Tom Thibodeau’s status as the team’s head coach and president of basketball operations, according to Chris Shereidan of GetMoreSports.com.

Butler requested a trade last week and the Timberwolves have been attempting to grant his wish. He has reportedly told the team that the Miami Heat are his top preference.

After initially resisting trade talks, and trying to convince Butler to change his mind, Thibodeau has since conceded the Timberwolves are indeed looking to trade Butler. But it reportedly took some insisting from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor — who has been involved in trade talks with at least the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources said.

Much to the chagrin of Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden, Taylor has reportedly been involved with talks with other teams as well.

According to a Sheridan source, the Butler fiasco may lead to the end of Thibodeau in Minnesota.

“A source who knows everything and everyone surrounding the Jimmy Butler trade told me this: ‘Thibs actually wants to get fired,'” Sheridan wrote.

Thibodeau is a strong-willed coach and opposing team executives once warned him about taking a position in the Timberwolves’ front office. Much like Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Taylor occasionally negotiates trades and talks to potential front-office hires without the rest of the organization’s knowledge, sources said.

More specifically, sources suggested Taylor’s meddling in the Butler trade talks are said to have greatly frustrated Thibodeau and may lead to the end of the relationship.

For now, though, Thibodeau and the Timberwolves are in camp, preparing for the season and accepting that life without their All-Star swingman will likely soon be a reality.

“We’re going to honor his request but we’re not going to do a bad deal,” Thibodeau told reporters. “We’re trying to make the best deal for the Timberwolves.”

Thibodeau is 78-86 in two seasons with the Timberwolves. His team went 47-35 with Butler last season, good enough for the eighth seed in the Western Conference and a rare playoff appearance.

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