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It appears Jimmy Butler may remain a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, after all.
Or at least, he may still be on the roster when the regular season begins for the team a week from Wednesday.
Unable to find a suitable trade partner, the Timberwolves seem to believe they have no choice to keep Butler on the roster, according to an updated report from The Athletic.
The All-Star swingman requested a trade three weeks ago, but according to The Athletic, Butler may “begrudgingly” report to the Timberwolves if he’s still on the roster when the season opens. He has not practiced with the team since his trade request.
“Barring a trade in the dwindling trade market between now and the season opener on Oct. 17, the Timberwolves are making preparations to start the season with Butler on the roster,” The Athletic reported.
The Timberwolves reportedly came close to a trade with the Miami Heat over the weekend, but the deal fell apart at the last minute. Team president/coach Tom Thibodeau unsuccessfully tried to recruit Butler to rejoin the Timberwolves on Monday, The Athletic reported.
Multiple reports say the Timberwolves have talked with everyone from the Heat to the Los Angeles Clippers to Milwaukee Bucks, though trade talks have become stagnant, per The Athletic.
One opposing general manager told Amico Hoops last week that the Timberwolves “are kidding themselves” if they think Butler will want to remain with the team.
“Tom is behaving like a desperate girlfriend who just can’t let go, but Jimmy isn’t going to work there,” the GM said. “I’m not sure what they’re clinging to. Some of (Butler’s) teammates don’t want him back. You have to make a deal.”
League sources told Amico Hoops the Timberwolves have talked with at least 25 of the opposing 29 teams, but keep failing to strike a deal. The Clippers and Timberwolves had also been continuing talks over the weekend, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
“Several teams around the league have privately questioned whether the Wolves are truly interested in finding a trade for a player that was a central figure in Thibodeau’s plans to rebuild the team,” The Athletic reported. “Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden have driven a hard bargain for their four-time All-Star.”
Butler has not been practicing with the Timberwolves but according to The Athletic, has been in contact with teammates, sending text messages to players such as Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and rookie Josh Okogie.