Latest On Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler gave a first-hand account of his return to Timberwolves practice and offered his perspective on the standoff with team management in an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN’s “The Jump.” (Twitter link)

Butler describes an exchange with Karl-Anthony Towns during today’s drills. Towns allegedly quipped, “Anybody can get this work,” when they were matched up, and Butler responded with the challenge, “Do it to me” and “Every time I get switched out onto you, you pass it.”

Later in the interview, in an exchange tweeted by Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, Nichols asked Butler if his presence at practice is a sign that the situation is improving. “I think people think that,” he responded. “I would think that, too. It’s not. It’s not fixed.” He suggested it “could be” fixable, but added, “Do I think so? No. You’ve got to be honest.”

Butler also defended his actions at today’s session, saying, “A lot of it is true. But you got to think I haven’t played basketball in so long and I’m so passionate. I love the game… All my emotion came out at once. Was it the right way to do it? No, but I can’t control it when I’m out there competing.” (Twitter link).

There’s more news to pass along on the Butler situation:

  • Butler sent a message to teammates and the front office by joining forces with third-string players and defeating the starters in today’s scrimmage, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Woj adds that some of the Wolves were “energized” by Butler’s performance and that he followed it by marching out of the gym as though he was doing a “mic drop.”
  • Butler spent much of the practice on a profanity-laced tirade, mostly aimed at Towns, Andrew Wiggins, coach/executive Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Butler taunted Towns and Wiggins by yelling, “They soft” as he faced them in the scrimmage. Neither player confronted him for his actions. Haynes adds that Butler has warned team officials in the past that he might find ways to express his displeasure if his trade request isn’t met.
  • The organization has reacted poorly ever since Butler made his trade demand three weeks ago, argues Britt Robson of The Athletic in a roundtable discussion. Robson contends the best response would have been to trade Butler quickly and start rebuilding the team around Towns and Wiggins. Instead, Thibodeau and Layden publicly expressed a desire to work things out with Butler and dragged their feet on numerous trade offers. Robson also blasts Towns and Wiggins for not playing with more desire in an effort to prove that Butler is wrong about them.
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54 thoughts on “Latest On Jimmy Butler

  1. southbeachbully

    Britt Robinson is a joke. No team should have a gun to their head for a player under contract. You can request a trade not demand it. No team should accept pennies on the dollar just to move a malcontent diva. A leader, like the one Butler wants to be, finds a way to work with others to get the most out of them. Screw him. Send him to whatever bottom-feeder team willing to give them a likely top 5 pick.

    • Rewane

      Wolves don’t have a gun to their head for a player under contract and Butler has no power to actually “demand” trade. If Wolves choose not to trade him, the the team would just have to swallow the negative impacts of still having Butler around. If Butler doesn’t get traded by his request, then he will make locker room cancerous. Teams can keep a disgruntled
      player just to screw him; they always have choices.
      Wolves didn’t drag on because they rejected better offers from bottom feeders to please Butler anyway. Bottom feeders know Butler isn’t going to turn them around and obviously wouldn’t give up a top 5 pick just for one year of Butler alone. The best offer would probably end up from a contender who wants to upgrade its roster. I highly doubt the Wolves would want to reject better offers just to send Butler to a bad team.

      • southbeachbully

        Of course they have a gun to their heads. Butler is making it know that he is willing to be vocal and call team and players out. He did a freakin’ interview where he showed zero regrets about it and chalked it up to his “passion”. Obviously, the Wolves don’t want to trade low on him. But honestly, I don’t see any team giving them back a player of similar skill level so getting a likely top 5 pick and some role players to match salary would be a likely offer.

        That being said….lawdy lawdy lawdy…the audacity of these players to demand a trade AND….AND submit a list of teams that you would prefer to be traded too? Unfathomable for that to happen 10, 20, 30 years ago.

  2. Phoenix suspended Eric Bledsoe with pay until he got traded. Thibs is too chicken bleep afraid of losing his job. He has lost control.

    • Guess Timberwolves would owe Thibs $24mm if he’s fired. That won’t happen.

      • Billy Winters

        Nobody gets this and it blows my mind. Thibs has said he would rather quit than rebuild. By quiting, he technically means getting fired, Thibs is not willing to trade Butler for nothing, he will hold out until they get the offer they want or he gets fired for not making the move. Nobody is walking away from 20 million.

        • Nebrasketball

          I’d love love love to see Taylor fire Thibs with cause, and refuse to pay out the rest of the contract since Thibs is being fired for incompetence or being a detriment to the organization.

          I mean, it would be a mess, but it would be very interesting.

  3. wettle

    I’d like to see Butler, Thibs and Layden shown the door. This is a complete joke. I really think Taylor needs to take control of this situation and remove Laurel and Hardy since they are dragging their respective feet. Thibs is acting almost as childish as Butler in this situation. I find it strange that Layden hasn’t really said a word publicly…..why?

    • Gus Leggett

      If I understand this correctly, Thibs is actually Layden’s boss, so he is just toeing the company line. To me, it’s Thibs and Butler that need to be removed, Layden can stay right now.

  4. Kenleyfornia74

    This guy makes Leveon Bell look like a saint. Just flat out being a baby. Play the year out and leave the Wolves when you are a free agent.

  5. oriolesravenstimberwolves04

    I’m just going to say it because I’m officially entitled to it: I TOLD YOU SO. I called this trade horrible from the beginning and got a lot of crap for it.
    Under no circumstances would the Timberwolves have contended for a championship with the Warriors dominating this league for the next several years. As Towns and Wiggins entered their primes, Butler would have long exited his. There was no timeline for legitimate contention, and there never was; Which there absolutely would have been with a supporting cast of Markannan, Dunn, Lavine, and Tyus + a late 2018 lottery Pick. This championship window would have arrived in 2022. This team would have dominated for years and we threw that all away for a pre-Maddona who never could have Lead this team to a championship. Towns and Wiggins would have thrived with the floor spacing of Markannan and Lavine.
    RIP to the Timberpups. RIP to our multiple championships.

  6. hiflew

    I honestly would love it if KAT just flat out decked him and said, “Now who’s soft.”

    • Codeeg

      Because beating him with the first stringers couldn’t have accomplished that point..

  7. Rewane

    Hopefully Butler beating Wiggins and Towns will make them work harder and become better players.

    • restingmitchface

      I wouldn’t count on it.

      I’m not at all a machismo, but when a dude yells “you’re soft!!!” right in your grill, and you don’t fight back…I just…don’t know if I see the right kind of fire in that response…

  8. restingmitchface

    Whose idea was it for him to attend training camp? Dude never should have been there.

  9. Codeeg

    Does no one on this board actually think Butler has a point about how KAT and Wiggins compete?
    I’m not saying Butler is mature in this situation, just that he might have a point knowing these players personally unlike the rest of us.

    • southbeachbully

      How does one determine if a player is “soft” or not “competing”? Sounds subjective to me. It’s hard for me to think those young guys don’t want to prove them wrong.

  10. x%sure

    This is entertaining; why complain.

    Butler is less acting selfishly, and more acting from knowledge that young stars A and B don’t want him around showing them up. He is right that he should move on. Butler has some issues but dumbness isn’t one.

    They were supposed to learn from him but that does not always happen.

    The Suns have been more conscious about Ayton’s surroundings than the Wolves have been about Towns’s.
    BTW what happened to @cesc?– everyone is correct some of the time.

    • Got fed up with the nastiness of some comments, just like to express my opinions, I know not everyone will agree, but some responses are very disrespectful & uncalled for, so for the time being I will stay quiet, but many thanks for your care & concern, that is very much appreciated.

      • x%sure

        Wolves should be building around Towns like you say. If they were, they would not be messing with the Butler mess.

    • southbeachbully

      It bothers me that we are so quick to accept Butler’s narrative. The loudest guy in the room gets the most attention and we just accept it. Oh well.

      Remember, Rondo got into it with Butler in Chicago because he felt Butler was treating the younger guys wrong too.

  11. Codeeg

    Jimmy Butler is the reason the wolves playoffless streak ended and no one wants to admit it. I’m not saying he’s right, but if a 30th pick can perform as well as two number ones with his effort maybe he has a point about how much the naturally talented players are giving.

  12. ErnestoFigueroa87

    What a disgrace this scumbag is!
    I’d bench the loser and fine him every time he acts like the moron he is m,if possible.

    Want to be a dipshit?
    I’d show him a horrible year.

  13. This is dumb. Letting Butler just harass the players at practice won’t make the team better. He’s just making everyone upset. He may be right about effort levels, but nobody wants to play with a bully. He’s trying to break the team apart not make it better. He’s punishing everyone there because he has to be there. Send him somewhere he’ll be miserable like the lakers under lebrons shadow

    • I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had to work with someone who put in less effort than I did. But you find ways to make it work, find ways to motivate people, find ways to work with their strengths and diminish their weaknesses.

      Or you can be Butler, and show you’re a vain loudmouthed princess with no measurable value to anyone besides being good at bouncing a basketball.

  14. johnstodder

    The T-wolves have been nuked. They might as well trade everybody good and start over. It will be years before they recover from this day.

    • southbeachbully

      OMG you’re overreacting. No need to tear it down. They just signed KAT and Wiggins to long contracts. They still have other good pieces.

  15. I get this feeling that if KAT were to go up and manually rearrange Butler’s face… they’d all be best buddies before the ice packs got to room temperature.

    • WubbaLubbaDubDub

      If KAT had the stones to do that, this situation never happens in the first place…

      • All in all this is as much a coaching issue as anything else. Thibs obviously has as much of a problem reining in Butler’s narcissistic brat antics as he does motivating eminently talented players like KAT or Wiggins.

        Ostensibly Butler, KAT, and Wiggins are all grown-ass adults… should any of them suddenly develop the ability to act like it maybe the team could go somewhere.

  16. Nebrasketball

    This is such a Minnesota Timberwolves story.

    And it is amazing. We’re going to talk about this for years and years.

    There’s no leadership on this team in the coaching staff or front office. You can’t let Butler get away with this garbage. But this is also a mess of their own making.

    There’s no way this ends well for the franchise – except with the firing of everyone who have made decisions that led to this.

    So I take it back… this could end up great for the franchise if they dump Thibs and Layden ASAP.

    • Taylor thought he was handing the franchise over to the right people to turn the team into something. Hopefully he sees everything for what it is and can either rein in or discard the guys that dug this hole.

  17. Nebrasketball

    (I also think that Thibs and Layden shouldn’t be the ones trading Butler. They’ve shown themselves to be incapable of building a cohesive NBA team. They’ve proven themselves. The Wolves need someone to come in and start making decisions that will actually help the franchise win and grow.)

    • Are there any out of work coaches or GMs that experienced a little bit not a lot of success with teams six years ago that the Wolves can hire?

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