Jimmy Butler actually practiced with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, and it sounds like it went about as well as you’d expect.
Not very well at all.
Jimmy Butler Heated in Practice
The wing who requested a trade three weeks ago purportedly screamed in the direction of general manager Scott Layden.
“You f—ing need me,” Butler told the GM, according to a source for ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “You can’t win without me.”
Reportedly “vociferous and emotional at times,” Butler also targeted teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, as well as head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau.
NBA analyst Amin Elhassan offered another juicy tidbit about the practice during an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump”: “I heard that he took the third stringers and beat the starters.”
That tale’s been corroborated by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops: “According to one source, Butler and a ‘team of third-stringers’ beat the Wolves’ starters in a scrimmage.”
Further suggesting an eventful practice, Butler’s teammates (for now) were hesitant to reveal what went on during the session.
A couple of Butler’s teammates were particularly vague when asked about Butler’s level of participation in practice on Wednesday.
Anthony Tolliver, who’s been on nine teams in 10 seasons, said that he’s never witnessed anything quite like the Butler situation during his time in the league, but he insisted that it’s not a distraction for him.
“If he’s around, then he’ll play. If he’s not, then he won’t. I think that we have guys here that if he’s not here, we can play with. And we have enough talent to go win some games,” Tolliver said.
Miami Heat Bid Over?
Minnesota reportedly almost struck a Butler deal with the Miami Heat over the weekend — the Timberwolves even sent Butler’s medical information to Miami — before trade talks broke down.
The Heat still have interest in a deal for the four-time All-Star, and Minnesota has yet to engage in serious talks with other teams, per an earlier report from Wojnarowski.