Jimmy Butler Returns To Timberwolves’ Practice

Three weeks after his trade request went public, Jimmy Butler returned to the Timberwolves‘ facility and practiced with the team today, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

While Butler’s participation in practice doesn’t necessarily mean a trade won’t happen, it’s another indication that he won’t sit out once the regular season begins next week. Of course, that was never really a realistic option for Butler, since – as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets – the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement features language that makes a holdout impractical.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Butler was vocal during today’s practice, verbally challenging coaches, teammates, and the front office, including Tom Thibodeau, Scott Layden, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins. Woj describes the 29-year-old as “vociferous and emotional at times,” adding in a second tweet that at one point, Butler screamed at Layden, “You (bleeping) need me. You can’t win without me.”

As we relayed earlier today, the Timberwolves reached back out to the Rockets on Tuesday, and the Heat remain interested in rekindling talks with Minnesota, so those trade discussions figure to continue. However, reports throughout the process have indicated that Thibodeau would prefer to see Butler start the season with the Wolves. That scenario appears increasingly plausible now that the All-NBA wing is practicing with his teammates again, though perhaps the obvious tension in practice will make Thibodeau reconsider his stance.

Here are a few more of the latest notes on Butler:

  • Besides their discussions with the Heat, the Timberwolves have had no “serious, active talks” with any other team about Butler, league sources tell Wojnarowski.
  • According to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, the Nets have been “timid” in their approach toward pursuing Butler, and have made Caris LeVert unavailable. Deveney also confirms that the Clippers are unwilling to include Tobias Harris in any offers, having instead proposed deals headlined by Danilo Gallinari or some combination of other players, such as Patrick Beverley, Milos Teodosic, and others.
  • Some league executives who spoke to Deveney expressed reservations about Butler’s potential locker room fit. “As good as Jimmy is, I think you have to be concerned about the impact he is going to have in the locker room, on your younger guys, on your coaching staff, all of that,” one general manager said. “He has gotten the benefit of the doubt, but if you look at his history, he’s had trouble getting along in Chicago and now in Minnesota. Everywhere he goes, it becomes about Jimmy, and if you’re going to bring him in, you have to account for that.”
  • Earlier today, we passed along details on the Timberwolves‘ discussions with the Rockets.
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22 thoughts on “Jimmy Butler Returns To Timberwolves’ Practice

  1. Dionis

    Kind of glad he’s doing that so Tom can get fired, maybe he’s the real problem.

  2. oriolesravenstimberwolves04

    This charade needs to end by Friday: get him in another uniform.

    • Nebrasketball

      Honestly, I’m surprised that this played out long enough to get to this point.

      Am I surprised that having Butler at practice was a gong show? Not the slightest.

  3. Nebrasketball

    This story keeps getting better and better.

    I would have bet good money that Butler would be traded and that he’d never play another game in a Wolves uniform. Now it looks like I would have lost that bet.

    This whole situation is bizarre.

    I hope teams pull back their offers and let this situation implode on itself – mostly because it makes for the best/most interesting end-game.

  4. Whose front office is the least caring? Is it Minnesota or Toronto? Amico Hoops again says the Towns and Butler feud may be girl related.

  5. DynamiteAdams

    Ya gotta love Jimmy! Doesn’t talk to the team outside of asking for a trade then shows up out of the blue to out work his teammates at practice and shove it in the face of the GM and coaching staff. I guess this is what he meant by “or else”.

  6. Z-A

    He probably did sleep with her. I see no loyalty from an IG chick (other terms apply). I see even less loyalty from a basketball groupie. Kind of a punk move by Jimmy, KAT deserves a free shot, I’d say to the gut or the nether regions you know, concussions and all.

    But if you literally swap Butler for any player that’s around that Top-25 mark they make the playoffs. So yes, you need multiple All Start caliber players to make the playoffs esp in the West. Not a huge statement.

  7. bennyg

    Trade him to Charlotte so MJ can deal with him!
    These prima donna “all stars” (Melo, Dwight)….

  8. formerlyz

    James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters, 2019 1st round pick for Butler and Dieng

    Gallinari, Gortat, Sindarius Thronwell (+Jawun Evans and/or 2nd round picks if necessary) for Butler and Dieng

    Neither of those teams should give up more, and after today’s stunt, Minnesota needs to move him even more, there by bringing that trade value down further

    • chiefivey

      im sure butler knows that as well. he probably read the reports of minnesota being stingy w. offers and made them lose even more leverage

    • Jim Bernstein

      There will not be a deal with Miami unless Richardson and/or Abadeyo are included, probably both. Olynyk, Waiters, Johnson have no value to the Wolves if the headliner is Jimmy Butler.

      Clippers have only one player (Harris) the Wolves want but he would be gone next summer. Gortat can be useful but the Clippers don’t really math up well for a Butler deal.

      • formerlyz

        I said this the other day, and it still applies…also the Clippers have zero reason to include Tobias Harris in a Butler trade, and if you think Butler’s trade value is that much higher than those 2 offers, Im not sure you’re factoring in a bunch of variables

        Trading Richardson in this type of a deal would be a big mistake, and these reports of them relenting on that bother me. If he was on the table, and there is still no deal done, then the Heat should take Richardson off the table, and let Minnesota know they missed their chance. The point would be to pair Butler and Richardson on the wing. Butler’s trade value is limited, as he has demanded a trade already, with a limited list of suitors (although anyone can trade for him), and can opt out after the season. He will take max money to sign, and although he is worth that, that doesnt mean they should move Richardson on one of the best value contracts in the league

        James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters and 2019 1st round pick for Butler and Dieng

        As a Heat fan, I’m cool with any combination involving future picks, Whiteside, Waiters, James Johnson, Olynyk, Derrick Jones, McGruder and then Dragic, Bam or Winslow if necessary. I wouldnt be willing to move anyone else.
        I would do Justise or Bam if absolutely necessary, but not both. I wouldnt want to lose both James Johnson and Justise Winslow though, and if I’m including 1 of Winslow or Bam, I wouldnt want to include a draft pick, especially if still taking back Dieng, unless maybe Minnesota included Okogie or KBD in return.

        If Thibodeau wants to be salty Butler is leaving, let him be. Dont have to give in, and as time goes by, their options will diminish. I also wouldnt mind seeing what this Heat team can do if they can finally stay healthy, and then they’ll have a bunch of expiring salary to deal from next year

  9. I just can’t wait to find out which lucky team will be blessed to have this guy in the clubhouse.

  10. southbeachbully

    Butler is a chump. How do you wait until 1 month before the season starts and demand a trade after almost all other teams have allocated their salary cap and acquired pieces that can’t be moved until early 2019? Selfish me, me , me player.

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