But­ler skips T’wolves’ game

Chicago Tribune - - CHICAGO SPORTS - By Charles F. Gard­ner

MIL­WAU­KEE — Af­ter a drama-filled week, Jimmy But­ler was not with the Tim­ber­wolves on Fri­day for their pre­sea­son fi­nale against the Bucks.

But­ler has de­manded a trade but re­turned to prac­tice Wednesday, a ses­sion that in­cluded him ver­bally chal­leng­ing team­mates and coaches. The Tim­ber­wolves can­celed prac­tice Thurs­day.

Coach Tom Thi­bodeau, speak­ing pub­licly for the first time since Wednesday’s heated prac­tice, said Fri­day that But­ler stayed in Min­neapo­lis to do con­di­tion­ing work and had not been sus­pended.

Asked if But­ler would play in the sea­son opener Wednesday against the Spurs in San An­to­nio, Thi­bodeau said: “The si­t­u­a­tion re­mains fluid.”

But­ler told ESPN af­ter prac­tice Wednesday that his is­sues with the Tim­ber­wolves have not been re­solved.

“Let’s just be hon­est. It could be,” But­ler said in the in­ter­view. “But do I think so? No.”

Cen­ter Karl-An­thony Towns would not ad­dress what hap­pened at that prac­tice or whether play­ers held a meet­ing Thurs­day, as was re­ported.

“The only thing that needs to be clar­i­fied is we’re ex­cited to pick up a bas­ket­ball here to­day in Mil­wau­kee,” Towns said. Asked if he would be happy to play with But­ler in the sea­son opener, Towns said, “I’m happy to play bas­ket­ball with any­body.”

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