Let’s get this out of the way: You’ve probably stayed on top of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ preseason drama. Jimmy Butler wants a trade. He probably wants out at least in part because of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Coach-president Tom Thibodeau has yet to strike a deal despite Butler’s impending free agency. The whole thing has been going on for nearly a month, and on Wednesday, it came to a head with Butler hijacking practice and doubling down on his trade request during an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
This situation seems too far gone to be fixed. Everyone involved doesn’t look too good, most of all Tom Thibodeau, who has apparently known about Butler’s unhappiness for a while.
Still, in the unlikely event things take a turn for the better, Butler is going to need a few things to happen. And a sit-down with Towns is one of them, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania:
n a meeting on Monday, Butler told Thibodeau this is how it would go, sources said. He wasn’t going to sit by and be quiet and have his desires ignored. Butler had also made clear that he wanted to sit down to discuss several issues with Towns, including the timing of his contract signing, as a means to challenge the young center about being up front and honest, league sources said. It is unclear if that meeting has taken place.
“It’s not fixed,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols when asked if his return to the court means his issues with the Wolves are behind him. “Let’s just be honest. It could be. But do I think so? No.”
Minnesota has since cancelled a practice since Butler’s Tuesday outburst. There’s no telling whether they’ll expedite the efforts to move him, or if we’re going to be following this soap opera into the regular season. Should Butler be sticking around, though, it does seem like he and Towns will need find common ground—or at least a way of coexisting alongside one another without the regular use of invectives and physical altercations.