Four-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler has made it clear that he wants out of Minnesota, but coach and team president Tom Thibodeau reportedly wants to keep Butler for as long as possible. Butler reportedly met with Thibodeau earlier this week and “reiterated his desire to traded,” according to The Athletic, but reported for Timberwolves practice on Wednesday and delivered an explosive performance.
Butler reportedly teamed up with Timberwolves reserves in a game against the starters and won, all while calling out his teammates and team executives. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news with two tweets that nearly broke NBA Twitter.
Butler just so happened to have already scheduled a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols later that day, and he confirmed that many of the reports from the practice were true.
Wojnarowski said Thursday that much of Butler’s frustration stems from the Timberwolves’ decision to not renegotiate his contract after trading for him in 2017, and reasoned that Butler’s outburst on Wednesday was an attempt to force team owner Glen Taylor to trade him.
“Yesterday – what happened in practice, Jimmy talking with Rachel last night – I think a lot of that is built around an agenda to get the owner, to get ownership in Minnesota to get involved in this and take over the trade talks. That Glen Taylor, the owner, would not have the appetite to sit and watch all of this play out day in and day out, because they know this – Tom Thibodeau does not want to trade Jimmy Butler. Especially now that he’s got him back in practice and he’s starting the season… They need ownership to get a deal done.”
The Timberwolves canceled practice on Thursday.
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