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At some point, the Jimmy Butler saga has to come to an end. For now, though, it appears that Butler will start the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite the fact Butler requested a trade three weeks ago.
Butler rejoined the team for practice Wednesday, creating a stir by reportedly talking trash to both teammates and management during a scrimmage. He then sat down for an interview with ESPN, in which he said his relationship with the Timberwolves is “not fixed.”
Now, it seems, Butler will begin the season as a member of the the Timberwolves, in spite of everything that’s happened.
The latest report on Butler comes from The Athletic, and states Butler held a players-only meeting Thursday. Strangely, the Timberwolves cancelled practice Thursday and did not make any players, coaches or members of management available to the media.
It is not clear if Butler will travel or play in the team’s preseason finale against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
According to The Athletic, Butler led the meeting, making known his issues with management. “His message was similar to one he displayed Wednesday: I run this,” The Athletic reported.
The Timberwolves canceled their previously scheduled practice for today, which means no media availability.
— Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) October 11, 2018
That said, all reports indicated the Miami Heat are still pressing the Timberwolves to make a trade, as the sides reportedly were closing in on a deal over the weekend.
Other interested teams, such as the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, are said to have backed off talks with the Timberwolves for now.
All of which makes it seem as if Butler is prepared to start the season with the Timberwolves.
“Besides being too competitive to miss regular season games, Butler also has little incentive to do so from a contract and salary perspective,” Luke Adams of HoopsRumors wrote. “The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement heavily penalizes players who hold out, and could even have prevented Butler from being able to reach free agency in 2019 if he missed enough games, so that was never really a viable option.”