Is the Jimmy Butler mess with Timberwolves holding back Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins?

The Timberwolves have easily been the NBA’s most dramatic team so far this year, with Jimmy Butler trying to force himself out and the Timberwolves standing pat to this point. It seems like it’s more a question of when Butler will be traded than if he will, and to make matters worsem the Timberwolves have been slow out of the gate, starting at 4-8.

While Butler’s stats remain as solid as ever — he’s averaging 22.2 points per game, exactly the same as last year’s numbers in fact — Karl-Anthony Towns has seen his scoring and rebounding numbers dip. He’s down to 18.3 points per game from 21.3 and 10.2 rebounds per game from 12.3. Andrew Wiggins has also been up and down so far this season, and the rain cloud hanging over the team can’t be helping the young players’ production.

On Thursday’s “Off the Bench” podcast, Danny Kanell and Raja Bell talk about the Wolves’ slow start, and they wonder if Butler’s presence is contributing to that start. Bell notes that the team has already committed to Towns and Wiggins, so that may be their core for the foreseeable future. They wonder if moving on from Butler now has to be the move so that the Towns and Wiggins era can truly begin in Minnesota.

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