Butler saga drags on in Minnesota as he skips exhibition
Jimmy Butler was absent as the Minnesota Timberwolves wrapped up preparations for their preseason finale Friday night.
Butler has demanded a trade but returned to practice with the team Wednesday, a session that included him verbally challenging teammates and coaches. He was not with the team for Friday’s 143-121 exhibition loss in Milwaukee.
Coach Tom Thibodeau, speaking publicly for the first time since Wednesday’s practice, said Butler was doing conditioning work in Minneapolis and had not been suspended. Asked if Butler would play in Minnesota’s regular-season opener at San Antonio on Wednesday, Thibodeau said: “The situation remains fluid.”
Butler told ESPN following Wednesday’s practice that his issues with the Timberwolves have not been fixed.
“Let’s just be honest. It could be,” Butler said in the interview. “But do I think so? No.”
Butler will be a free agent at the end of the season and would be eligible to sign a five-year deal with Minnesota at that point.
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