On the surface, the Minnesota Timberwolves had their most successful season since the Kevin Garnett era. They finished with a winning record for the first time in 13 years and ended a playoff drought that had lasted just as long. It was in no small part because they added veteran leadership and a bonafide All-Star in Jimmy Butler to help their talented young core get over the hump.
But behind the scenes, it turned out to be volatile mix. Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns apparently weren’t thrilled with having to take a backseat to Butler last season, while Butler allegedly grew increasingly frustrated with their inability to step up in key moments and make meaningful contributions on the defensive end.
All of this combined to create the impression that the team could be headed for a breakup this summer or the next, as Butler has turned down a contract extension with the team to become a free agent next summer and is rumored to have some interest in joining LeBron in Los Angeles.