Jimmy Butler has returned to Minnesota, but he doesn’t appear any more eager to get back on the court for the Timberwolves. According to Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (via Twitter), Butler met with head coach Tom Thibodeau on Monday and reiterated his request to be traded.
The latest meeting between Thibodeau and Butler essentially puts the two sides in the same position they were in three weeks ago, when the All-Star swingman initially made his trade request in a sitdown with the Wolves’ president of basketball operations. Since then, Minnesota has engaged a number of teams around the NBA in trade talks, but has yet to find a suitable deal despite a few promising leads.
The NBA regular season is set to get underway a week from tonight, so the situation may come to a head in the coming days. Reports throughout the process have suggested that Thibodeau wants to keep Butler, and the 29-year-old seems likely to report to the team before forfeiting any game checks. However, the Wolves know Butler has no plans to stick around long-term in Minnesota, and bringing him back to start the season would only prolong an uncomfortable situation.
The Heat, Rockets, and Clippers are among the teams that have been most aggressive in pursuing Butler, though a Monday report suggested there were no active talks happening between the Timberwolves and Clips, who have refused to offer up Tobias Harris. Minnesota appeared multiple times to be nearing a deal with Miami, but those negotiations reportedly fell apart again over the weekend, with a Heat official referring to the Wolves’ asking price as unreasonable.