Timberwolves players confirmed Wednesday that Butler, still technically part of the team since requesting a trade nearly a month ago, practiced with the team for the first time since then - although they shied away from commenting on an ESPN report that Butler tore into both teammates and executives, as well as coach Tom Thibodeau.
Miami had softened on including guard Josh Richardson in versions of a possible deal for Butler, only to recoil once Minnesota pushed late for a sweeter return on the four-time All-Star, league sources said.
"It's fluid", Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said earlier this week of Butler's trade demand. I'm going to be honest, if your number one priority isn't winning, people can tell. Butler told ESPN the Timberwolves are not being truthful with him.
The situation between Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves is getting stranger.
Thibodeau lauded Butler's fire after practice Wednesday. Teams angling to trade for the mercurial star should be happy after today's possibly staged outburst because the Timberwolves clearly lost leverage in negotiations.
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"It's not about money", Butler said.
According to ESPN, Butler on Wednesday verbally challenged teammates, coaches and front office executives.
Not only that, but ESPN and Minnesota's own Jon Krawczynski have reported that the whole interview process and the out-of-control Butler at practice was 'orchestrated'. I'm telling you nobody in that locker room is gonna say that he is a bad teammate. "I think we trade it for a great player".
"I think that's the part everybody doesn't see", Butler said. Whether he's here or not, we'll just focus on who is here. "Yeah, that's who am I", he said.
And look at that: The same night Jimmy Drama pitched his fit, the Bulls held the Pacers under 60 points in the first half of Wednesday night's preseason game. Woo.