Signs Pointing Toward Jimmy Butler Starting Season With Wolves

2:47pm: Timberwolves players can’t seem to agree on what exactly happened today. While Butler confirmed to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (Twitter link) that he held a players-only meeting, Jeff Teague responded to Charania’s initial report by calling it “fake news” and accusing him of making up the meeting (Twitter link).

1:55pm: Jimmy Butler called a players-only meeting on Thursday and aired his feelings about his situation and about team management, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). League sources tell Charania that Butler told his teammates that he’s prepared to compete with them, with Charania adding that signs are pointing toward the All-NBA swingman opening the 2018/19 season as a member of the Timberwolves.

As Charania relays (via Twitter), a number of players spoke up during the players-only meeting today, but Butler was the one leading it. The 29-year-old is too competitive to sit out real games, according to Charania, who adds that Butler’s message was similar to the one he conveyed on Wednesday: “I run this.”

Besides being too competitive to miss regular season games, Butler also has little incentive to do so from a contract and salary perspective. The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement heavily penalizes players who hold out, and could even have prevented Butler from being able to reach free agency in 2019 if he missed enough games, so that was never really a viable option.

The Timberwolves’ players-only meeting comes on the heels of Wednesday’s alreadyinfamous practice in which Butler reportedly teamed up with a handful of third-stringers to defeat Minnesota’s starters, yelling at head coach Tom Thibodeau, GM Scott Layden, and multiple teammates – including Karl-Anthony Towns – throughout the scrimmage. The Wolves cancelled Thursday’s practice.

Butler has made it clear that he has no intention of re-signing with the Timberwolves when he becomes eligible for free agency next July, so even if he does remain on Minnesota’s roster to start the season, the team will likely keep exploring potential trades. The Heat, Rockets, and Clippers are among the teams that have shown the most interest in the four-time All-Star, with Miami and Houston especially motivated to make a deal since they won’t have the cap room necessary to sign Butler outright in 2019.

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15 thoughts on “Signs Pointing Toward Jimmy Butler Starting Season With Wolves

  1. manos

    That’s because no teams want this guy in their locker room. He’s a scumbag and a drama queen. Great basketball player, terrible human being.

    • Nebrasketball

      I’m not going to fully disagree with you, but perhaps we shouldn’t infer additional character traits to someone who’s in a bad situation.

      It could be that he’s a scumbag and drama queen – but that probably takes things a bit further than are required.

      He’s also someone who’s won a lot of games, and has made the most out of his talent.

      Would I want him on my favorite team? That would depend on the price… But he can be a game changer.

      That said, I would definitely have concerns about his ability to interact well with teammates.

    • Reflect

      I wouldn’t say he’s a terrible human being. He clearly has good intentions, but he’s coming off very narcissistic.

      We also should acknowledge the role Minnesota plays in this. It’s not like they have the best management or ownership, or other players.

    • I give no fox

      This comment is idiotic. It is a fact that over half the league contacted the wolves about acquiring him. All you wanted to do was Jimmy bash, but the reality is every team in the league would take this guy in their locker room because he is an elite talent

    • x%sure

      Players who want to get traded put their worst foot forward. It’s part of the game plan to make them want to trade you. Big picture

  2. Nebrasketball

    I wonder what this will do to his trade value? At what point to the Wolves just trade him for something (before the deadline)?

    Or is this just showing that Thibs would rather get to the playoffs with Butler, then let the next coach/gm worry about the team since he’ll be fired when Butler bolts in free agency?

    I actually suspect it might be the latter…

    This continues to be a super interesting story.

  3. 05whitesox

    Seems like this was all a charade between thibs and butler to wake up KAT and wiggins. The Twolves will be better for it and all these fans who are calling out jimmy now will eat their words.

  4. Ptn18

    Jerry West said no to Tobias Harris. Darryl Morley said no to P.J. Tucker. Pat Riley told the Timberwolves to get their house in order, and he’s tired of dealing with them. Thibs says he’s doing what is best for the organization, and will keep Butler all season without any compensation. He’s ignoring Butler, and loves a trainwreck. The Wolves would have to pay Thibs $24mm to fire him. Owner Taylor said for other teams to call him. Didn’t keep his word. Oh well! What do you expect from the Timberwolves?

  5. wettle

    So the Wolves call off practice, what a joke! Jimmy Buckets is running this shite show. They need to trade this cancer before he gets hurt and they get nothing. And what he says about Wiggins not playing defense, there’s a whole lotta truth to that. Defense wins championships, they won’t be winning any championships anytime soon.

  6. Grant

    Off topic but what is the deal with someone downvoting every comment on half the articles. It has to be the most petty thing I have seen on this site in the last month

    • JD396

      You want to see petty in a comment section… Go check out articles about the national anthem on PFR or domestic violence on MLBTR!

  7. Not a big fan of Thibs, but the Owner, not Thibs, is to blame for this situation. On matters such as these, a team needs to speak to the rest of the league exclusively through its top basketball person (even if the owner, or someone else, is pulling the strings behind him). Taylor public statement (meant for KAT, I guess) that JB would be traded, in itself, would likely substantially reduce what his team gets back. It also gave JB the license to reduce the Wolves leverage even further by acting out in practice. All needless.

    Why would any team dealing with Thibs put it’s top offer on the table right now? Or, at this point, ever, unless he somehow starts the year and plays well with Minny and the teammate issues subside.

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