It now looks like the entire Jimmy Butler saga in Minnesota will extend into the regular season. Long considered to be trade bait, the embattled All-Star will reportedly suit up for the Timberwolves’ season opener against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Minnesota's Jimmy Butler practiced again Sunday and is expected to play in season opener in San Antonio on Wednesday. Heat/Timberwolves talks have been dead, for now, league sources said.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 14, 2018
This is somewhat surprising news.
By now, it’s well known that Butler requested a trade from the Wolves last month. Since then, drama has surrounded the two sides at every turn.
The most-recent example of this came last week when Butler went off on teammates and the organization during practice.
The situation itself doesn’t seem to be sustainable, leading many to believe Butler would have been traded prior to the start of the regular season. Unfortunately for both sides, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of interest in his services on the trade market.
A lot of that has to do with Butler and his perception around the league. Then again, it seems that Minnesota is asking for way too much in trade discussions. The Miami Heat’s unwillingness to pay Minnesota’s asking price is the latest example of this.
Even if Butler were to suit up Wednesday against the Spurs, it would not be a shock to see him dealt at some point early this season.
There’s a growing rift between the veteran and his younger teammates, which could lead to some major on-court issues once the season gets going.