From: Las Vegas
On 1500ESPN‘s recent The Scoop Podcast, hosted by Darren Wolfson, Taylor was a recent guest. On the show, Taylor was asked when it becomes ownership’s role to step in and involve oneself in decision-making — not explicitly related to a Butler trade, but speaking more generally.
Taylor, the majority owner of the Timberwolves since 1994, said that ownership should become involved during decisions that are “financial” impact, “culture” and for those that require a “change in direction.”
If we go off that, Taylor, by not having facilitated a deal, must believe that the financial impact of Butler’s presence with the team is not harsh. He also must feel that the culture has not been shaken to the degree that many on the outside perceive it to be. And together, Taylor must believe the sum of those parts do not justify a change in direction.
Those are subjective lines to be drawn by Taylor and therefore are not naive. What is naive is the alternative to trading Butler that Taylor offered during his interview with Wolfson.
Here is the full quote:
“That’s the alternative,” said Taylor when asked if he could see the team keeping Butler beyond the trade deadline and into free agency next summer. “You say, ‘well if [an acceptable offer] never happens, I guess we’ll never get a deal and Jimmy will play out his contract with us and become a free agent at the end of the year.’
“And then, ‘what’s our alternatives?’ We’ll have a bunch of money in salary to go out and get a free agent ourselves. So, I mean, it isn’t like we don’t have alternatives. We do.”
That statement is one of three things: 1.) naive 2.) misinformed 3.) propaganda.
The Wolves will not have a bunch of money to pursue free agents themselves if Butler simply walks in free agency. That’s not how it works. In fact, as the roster currently stands, the team will have almost no salary cap space to go out and pursue any free agents this summer.