Jimmy Butler is going to get paid a whole lot of money next summer. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ star is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 campaign, and teams with cap space and a need for a No. 1 option will surely be willing to give Butler whatever he wants.
The Timberwolves had one way to prevent Butler from hitting the open market next summer: Offering him a big-money extension this year. Minnesota did that, giving Butler a potential deal over four years worth somewhere in the region of $110 million.
However, as we learned on Friday afternoon, the Timberwolves won’t be able to get Butler to sign on the dotted line just yet. Team owner Glen Taylor shared the news that Butler said no to an extension right now.
We went over this a few weeks ago with Kyrie Irving, so we’ll make this brief: Butler signing this deal would not have been a smart business decision. Unless he was afraid of tanking his value (no one is ever afraid of this), really loved staying in Minnesota and wanted to get his future sorted out as soon as possible, or decided he couldn’t use an additional $78 million, the much better move is waiting until next offseason. The most the Timberwolves could offer him at that point is a five-year, $188 million deal, and the most an opposing team could offer would be a four-year deal worth $139 million, per ESPN.
Despite the fact that he’ll be 30 at the start of next season, Butler is wisely betting on himself. There aren’t many two-way players in the league like him, and it stands to reason that he’s going to get paid more than the Wolves could have offered this summer.