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Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor attended the team’s practice Sunday and addressed the players amid the saga involving All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, according to a report from The Athletic.
Several league sources told Amico Hoops the Timberwolves would prefer to move Butler within the next few days, before the regular season begins.
Butler also took part in practice, his second since requesting a trade nearly a month ago. Per The Athletic, Taylor and Butler have reached an understanding — Butler will remain with the team and practice and play, and Taylor will continue to try to trade Butler.
According to multiple reports, no deal centered on Butler is close. The Timberwolves reportedly had a trade with the Miami Heat worked out earlier this month, but it was called off at the last minute. The sides supposedly have not spoken since.
Team president/coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden are said to be aiming for the sky when it comes a potential Butler trade. Several opposing teams have told the Timberwolves they would be willing to revisit talks if Thibodeau and Layden lowered their asking price, sources told Amico Hoops.
The Houston Rockets. Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers are among the other teams that reportedly have a strong interest in Butler.
“Four days after the scene at practice, there is still no deal imminent for Butler,” The Athletic reported. “So Taylor, who has often interjected himself personally in tense moments for his franchise, made the drive up to try to open some lines of communication that were in danger of being permanently closed. Taylor also addressed the team, sources said, and was seen smiling and laughing with Thibodeau and Layden after practice.”
Butler told reporters at practice Sunday his relationship with management hasn’t changed, indicating that he is still seeing a trade.
“I can go out there and play,” Butler said.
The Timberwolves open the season Wednesday at the San Antonio Spurs, then face the Cleveland Cavaliers at home Friday. Butler was asked if he expects a tough reaction from fans.
“Sure. Boo me,” he said. “Ain’t going to change the way I play. Probably going to make me smile more. Please come on with it.”