NBA player Jimmy Butler has contradicted a report that he is not participating with Timberwolves’ for Wednesday night game against the Jazz as a scheme to get swapped out of Minnesota faster. Instead, in his interview with Rachel Nichols, he said that “his body was hurting”.
Earlier on Wednesday, The Athletics’ Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski reported that Butler has decided to sit out the game because he hasn’t been traded yet and speculations are being made that Wolves’ All-Star could be out there for even longer.
On the other hand, ESPN’s reporter Adrian Wojnarowski has another story. He said that Butler isn’t sitting out for too long. Instead, Wolves have “recommended rest for Butler”. He will join the team back on the flight to Oak for the upcoming game against Golden State.
Butler has verified that story to Nichols.
The Wolves did not have practice on Tuesday and have played only one game since October 26. It is kind of weird that there are two different sets of reports that go in a totally opposite direction. The Athletic’s first report about Butler sitting out to push his trade request further simply adds to the oddity.
I am completely perplexed. As far as I can tell, this is Butler’s decision, and whether and when he rejoins the team is likely up to him as well, none of which is a good look for anyone involved, including the coach and management, who are apparently willing to let Butler call the shots here.
For a guy who claims to work harder than anyone and just wants his teammates to want to win as much as he does, this is a terrible look for Butler. He clearly doesn’t care and isn’t even pretending to.
Although it is a bizarre situation, it clearly indicates one thing:
Butler wants to be traded.
And let’s not ignore the fact that Butler has wanted out since eons. American basketball coach Tom Thibodeau, Wolves owner Glen Taylor, and general manager Scott Layden collectively assured him that they would for sure move him only if they found a deal worth it.
Some challenging GMs have allegedly told the Wolves that the price they are demanding is way too high. However, after his 32-point performance against the Lakers, Butler’s value hasn’t been higher than now.
It is an anticipating game. The Wolves played sans Butler against Jazz and will go on playing against Trail Blazers and then the Warriors.
The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) actually allows the Timberwolves to impose a penalty on the All-Star forward for foregoing games being physically fit as he is under contract. Matt Ellentuck of SB Nation further explained with referencing Kawhi Leonard’s situation, which ultimately never reached up to this point:
“According to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, players’ base salaries can be reduced by 1/145 for up to 19 missed games — that includes exhibition, regular season, and playoff games — and 1/110 of his base salary for the 20th missed the game and beyond.”
Penalties can be imposed on a player for missing promotional appearances and practices. Though Timberwolves have backed up Butler as resting because of “general soreness”, Thibodeau repudiated any connection with Butler’s current desire to be moved.
It seems that Butler can return to play the desired numbers of games.
Guess things are going to remain the way they are until Butler finally gets traded.