Butler

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

in time to get Butler in uni­form for a game at Mi­ami on Mon­day. The next step for Philadel­phia will be coming to an agree­ment on an ex­ten­sion for Butler, a pend­ing free agent who made clear to Min­nesota that he would not be re­sign­ing there in 2019.

Trans­lated: The Wolves had to trade him, or they would lose him for noth­ing over the summer.

There has been Butler drama ev­ery step of the way this sea­son.

ESPN re­ported that at his first prac­tice with Min­nesota this fall, Butler ver­bally chal­lenged play­ers, coaches and gen­eral man­ager Scott Lay­den while dom­i­nat­ing in scrim­mages, even when go­ing up against stars like Karl-An­thony Towns and An­drew Wig­gins.

Butler said the re­port was true.

“All my emo­tion came out at one time,” Butler told ESPN later that day. “Was it the right way to do it? No. But I can’t con­trol that when I’m out there com­pet­ing. That’s my love of the game. That’s raw me. Me at my finest, me at my purest. That’s what you’re go­ing to get in­side the lines.”

Butler con­tin­ued to be mis­er­able in Min­nesota, and the Tim­ber­wolves have got­ten off to a lousy start wait­ing for this in­evitable move. Min­nesota fin­ished a 0-5 road trip with a loss in Sacra­mento on Fri­day night and is 4-9 over­all — win­less in eight games on the road.

Butler played in 10 of those games, av­er­ag­ing 21.3 points. It was a pe­cu­liar ar­range­ment; the Tim­ber­wolves were still run­ning things through him of­ten, even while the worst-kept se­cret in the NBA was that he wanted a change of ad­dress. Plenty of teams were men­tioned along the way — Hous­ton, the Los Angeles Clip­pers, Mi­ami among them — as top can­di­dates.

Butler, who turned 29 on Sept. 14, has been an All-Star in each of the last four sea­sons. There are also con­cerns, though they clearly didn’t put off Philadel­phia. Butler has missed at least 15 games in four of the last five sea­sons, in­clud­ing a ca­reer-high 23 games last year while deal­ing with a knee in­jury.

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