Jimmy Butler is not playing in the Timberwolves’ game on Wednesday night against Utah. It’s the latest step in a six-week standoff between the disgruntled All-Star and the team that has not yet granted his wish to be traded, According to Shams Charania, the move is part of Butler’s plan to get traded as soon as possible and it could lead to an extended absence beyond tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz.
Jimmy Butler is taking next step in six-week-long process aimed at getting the All-Star out of Minnesota by sitting tonight against Utah, and could lead to extended absence for Butler, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 31, 2018
Charania notes that Butler started contemplating not playing tonight on Tuesday, and the final decision was made Wednesday morning when he informed coach Tom Thibodeau of his decision. That said, the Wolves are explaining Butler’s absence for tonight’s game as “general soreness and precautionary rest.”
In six games this season, Butler leads the Timberwolves with 22.5 points per game, in addition to 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3 steals. The Timberwolves, 3-4, will host the Utah Jazz tonight before embarking on a five-game road trip that includes a trip to Oracle Arena on Friday night, followed by matchups against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Lakers, and Sacramento Kings.
The Houston Rockets recently made an offer for Butler that included four first-round picks but, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, league sources suggest that any potential offer from Houston must also include shooting guard Eric Gordon.
It’s unfortunate that the Timberwolves and Butler can’t see eye to eye on this one. The longer the drama continues between both parties, the less likelihood is there for a fair equal trade value.