Before he was finally traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Robert Covington Matt Ryan Jersey 2019 , Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and a 2022 second-round pick, Jimmy Butler was ruining the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season. You might say that it’s hard to blame Butler for the Wolves’ 30-point loss to the Blazers on Sunday since Butler didn’t play. But that’s precisely an example of how Butler was ruining the Wolves. He didn’t play a second because he was trying to ruin the Wolves to force them into trading him, as much as he wants to deny it. And the Wolves — or coach-president Tom Thibodeau, at least — were playing along.Butler was held out Sunday for what the team termed “precautionary rest.” Butler is, by all indications, healthy and has played one game in six days. Minnesota doesn’t have a back-to-back on the schedule until after Thanksgiving. He then played 43 minutes in a close loss to the Lakers on Wednesday, then 41 on Friday as the trade with Philly was being finalized.There was a dispute as to whether Butler was deciding when he’ll play or whether he was making that call in concert with the franchise. If the team was deciding when to play him, it made bad choices.Everything you need to know about the Jimmy Butler dramaJimmy Butler wants out of Minnesota. This is how we got here.Winners and Losers from the 76ers-Wolves blockbusterJimmy Butler’s ‘vociferous’ return to Timberwolves practice, explainedThe 7 most savage moments from Jimmy Butler’s interview with Rachel NicholsThe Timberwolves let the Jimmy Butler mess happenJimmy Butler was ruining the Timberwolves’ season, and maybe their futureInside the state of the 76ers before the Jimmy Butler tradeButler played against the Warriors on Oct. 31, a game Minnesota was destined to lose because Golden State is unbeatable right now. Sandwiched around that 35-minute performance from Butler, he sat out games against the rival Jazz (a narrow Minnesota win) and the rival Blazers (an embarrassing loss). Then, he played 43 and 41 minutes in the next two games.If you’re really trying to strategically rest a top player Black Vic Beasley Jr Jersey , you play him in the winnable critical games and sit him against teams likely to run you out of the gym. Though these days, many teams are clearly able to run the Wolves out of the gym.The fact the Timberwolves only announced Butler’s plans after a reporter who frequently seems to get scoops out of Butler’s camp scoops them was a big indicator as to who is captain of this ship. It’s the disgruntled star who orchestrated a training camp rupture, a practice floor ambush, and a thorough embarrassing of the franchise’s leadership. Among everyone involved, Butler had the least invested in the future of the franchise and he’s the one that still called all the shots.This was absolute lunacy. It was one of the weirdest episodes in recent NBA power dynamic history.In the moment, some critics claimed Carmelo Anthony held the Nuggets hostage in 2010 and early 2011 by limiting the number of teams he’d commit to signing an extension with prior to 2011 free agency. The truth was that Melo had been honest about his preferences — the Nuggets were totally free to ignore them if another team would be willing to be competitive in the trade market. But Melo actually played through the drama, and pretty well. He didn’t jerk Denver around when it came to availability or rest. He fulfilled his contract.Butler didn’t. That said, it’s impossible to say he held the Wolves hostage. They held themselves hostage by letting Butler take the wheel.Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesTrading a star rental — especially one as idiosyncratic as Butler has turned out to be — isn’t easy, but the lack of urgency from Thibodeau and the Wolves was shocking. They made the playoffs by one game last season. They were two wins from the No. 3 seed. Every game matters, and the Wolves were out here spitting away games on Butler’s whims. They have the No. 14 point differential out of 15 West teams, the only saving grace being a fairly tough schedule so far.What’s worse is that Karl-Anthony Towns regressed amid the drama. It’s impossible to say whether the Butler fiasco weighed so heavily on Towns that he underperformed, but regardless, it wasn’t not helping. He’s been less consistent on both ends this season. If Butler and Thibodeau thought this whole vortex of discontent would help Towns thrive — well, it didn’t. As I’ve written Vic Beasley Jr Jersey 2019 , Towns is the most important person involved. Every second the Wolves spent antagonizing him instead of helping him reach his fullest potential was a moment wasted.Waiting this long was wrong: the Wolves needed to trade Butler or excuse him from the team until a trade was found. You can’t easily force him to play when healthy — a doctor can always find an injury — but it would have bene better for a certain absence than an uncertain presence at this point. Butler was too disruptive.Thibodeau was guilty of malpractice for allowing this to happen. He’s the don of the team — he controls the coaching staff and the front office. There’s nowhere else to pass blame. Even though he eventually found religion and traded him, he should be on the next train out of town. This is as sloppy as anything Phil Jackson did in New York. This might actually prevent Thibodeau from ever being a head coach in the NBA again. Did he realize this? Does he realize how badly the Butler fiasco has ruined his reputation?This was ugly. The one way to start the clean-up process was to get Butler out of there, one way or another. The Falcons aren’t going to lose Jarrett, but they’d likely prefer not to deploy the franchise tag."As Matthew Chambers wrote earlier today, the Falcons are reportedly not that close to consummating a new deal for Grady Jarrett. That’s worrisome for many reasons, but especially so because the deadline to get that deal done is very much looming.The new league year begins on midnight on Thursday, March 14. At that point, all expiring contracts expire, and Jarrett would be a full-fledged free agent at that point. Unfortunately, the Falcons don’t even have that much time, as the deadline to apply the franchise tag comes on Tuesday, March 5. Given his talent, age, and production in 2018 Black Alex Mack Jersey , he’d be getting monster offers left and right, and the chances of the Falcons keeping him would be significantly decreased. That puts a lot of pressure on the Falcons to figure out a course of action in less than two full days, with the following options on the table.Get a deal done Jarrett isn’t getting Aaron Donald money at the end of the day, but there’s a legitimate chance the annual average value of his contract winds up being right up there (or even above) Fletcher Cox. That’s a huge chunk of change, but Jarrett is also one of the truly essential defenders the Falcons have today, so they’re going to have to pay it.We can only speculate about what the hangup is here—it could be dollars, years, structure, or all three—but the Falcons are going to have to sweeten their deal in some fashion to get this thing done in very short order. Jarrett has all the leverage in the world, at least until the Falcons...Apply the franchise tagThe Falcons have been loathe to do this. They last slapped the franchise tag on a player way back in the 2012 offseason, when they tried to keep Brent Grimes around. Grimes famously got hurt and missed essentially the entire year before walking to Tampa Bay in the following offseason, and the Falcons have been averse to repeating that scenario ever since.With Jarrett, though, it may become the option of last resort. The Falcons could put the tag on Jarrett and guarantee him for about $15 million this year Alex Mack Jersey 2019 , which both buys them time to get back to the table and might give Jarrett and his representation more incentive to agree to a new deal that gets him more than that amount in 2019. It’s possible the Falcons get this thing done under the wire, but given the time left and the reported gulf, you have to consider the first use of a franchise tag in many moons a real possibility. Especially compared to the last, unlikely option.Let Jarrett walk A team like the Browns could absolutely bury Atlanta’s offer, fiscally, and would have to be considered a strong option to do so. If the Falcons catastrophically lost Jarrett, they’d likely need to invest an early round selection in defensive tackle and sign a mid-tier free agent just to have a prayer of having a solid DT rotation in 2019. That would be such a poisonous outcome that I can’t imagine the Falcons seriously entertaining it, but the way this offseason has gone, I’m not clearing any options off the table just yet. We’ll hope the Falcons can get a long-term deal done here before next Thursday, or the nerves are going to jangle further.