It has been more than six weeks since Butler issued his trade request, and he continues to pressure Minnesota’s front office to make a deal. There have been reports of unorthodox behavior since then, including challenging teammates and management at his first practice, but Butler insists that nothing has affected the bond in the locker room.
“They can write whatever they want, they can say whatever they want and I can address it the way that I want to,” he said after Friday’s loss at Golden State. “But at the end of the day, I go to war with my guys. Those are my guys. We’re out there trying to win. Nothing is going to come between us. I’m going to play the right way, do what I do, and they know that. They know that.”
The latest Butler-related incident was his decision to skip Wednesday’s game due to “general soreness and precautionary rest.” While it was viewed at first as another possible ploy to force the team into a trade, Butler was back on the court yesterday.
The Wolves have back-to-back road games tomorrow against the Trail Blazers and Monday against the Clippers, and Butler told Nick Friedell of ESPN that he hasn’t decided whether he will play in both.
“I let them know,” Butler said. “They don’t know how my body feels. So if I’m nicked up, then you can count on that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know what we plan on doing tomorrow. Obviously, I got to get some treatment along with a lot of other guys. But we’ll see whenever Sunday and Monday gets here.”
[UPDATE: Butler won’t play on Sunday]
Minnesota is continuing to listen to trade offers for Butler, with the Rockets and Heat considered to be the most aggressive and the Sixers and Lakers also believed to be in the running. Coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has reportedly been sending mixed messages to interested teams, leading some to believe that the Wolves haven’t gotten serious yet about completing a deal.