The Minnesota Timberwolves ended their 14-year playoff drought last season, but that doesn't mean owner Glen Taylor is happy with how head coach Tom Thibodeau is running the team.
Rumors of a toxic locker room have swirled, and All-Star Jimmy Butler rejected a four-year, $110 million contract extension, a sign that he'll leave and sign elsewhere in free agency next year.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Taylor " has significant concern with the broader franchise culture under Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden," and thought about making changes in the offseason.
On top of that, Wojnarowski said Taylor is second-guessing the choice of letting Thibodeau full power as both head coach and the president of basketball operations. Per Wojnarowski, Thibodeau has three years left on his contract.
It was reported on Saturday by Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that Thibodeau and Layden are meeting with Butler on Monday. That should give some hope for Minnesota fans, given that Butler and Thibodeau were previously together with the Chicago Bulls, prior to the latter's firing following the 2014-15 season.
For the Timberwolves, it would be a brutal blow to lose Butler in free agency, given how much they gave up to land him at the 2017 NBA draft. Butler was able to lead the team to the playoffs in 2018, and even the star duo of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns aren't enough alone to keep this team in contention.
Wiggins was reportedly unhappy with his role in Minnesota last season, which sparked trade rumors. It's up to Thibodeau and the front office to find out how they can fix the locker room, keep Wiggins happy and convince Butler to sign a long-term extension.
Otherwise, making the playoffs in 2018 could be one of the few bright moments this team gets for a while. Monday's meeting could be a deciding factor in how the 2018-19 season plays out for Minnesota.