MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jimmy Butler returned to practice on Wednesday and was on a basketball court with his teammates for the first time since the Western Conference Playoffs.
Despite several requests to team management for a trade in the offseason, a report that emerged Thursday indicates he may at least start the season with the Timberwolves.
According to a report from The Athletic, Butler called a players-only meeting, where he aired out his feelings toward his situation and management. He told his teammates he would compete with them, which could indicate he’ll still be on the roster when the Timberwolves open the regular season at San Antonio next Wednesday.
A practice originally scheduled for Thursday morning was canceled, and the Timberwolves didn’t have any media availability.
Butler scrimmaged with his teammates on Wednesday in what was reported as a “heated, emotional” scrimmage. He reportedly called out several players, including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, as well as coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden.
Timberwolves officials reportedly told national media after the practice that it was their “best, most energetic” practice so far.
Butler then did an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols to address the situation, saying “things aren’t fixed.”
Butler was offered a four-year contract extension in the offseason, worth at least $100 million. He turned it down, knowing he would quality for a five-year maximum contract after this season as an unrestricted free agent.