It seemed originally that Jimmy Butler had grown tired of the Minnesota Timberwolves opting to push his potential trade to the backburner. While the team may be hoping he’ll have a change of heart (highly unlikely), Butler had reportedly put his foot down on the situation. And prior to last game, it seemed the All-Star guard wouldn’t be on the floor for a while.
This came after The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed that Butler was beginning a six-week process which may include an extended absence in order to push for a trade.
Although Butler did sit out against the Utah Jazz, Timberwolves analyst Alan Horton revealed that Butler will play Friday against the Golden State Warriors, per head coach Tom Thibodeau. He also revealed that Jeff Teague will be out once again while Tyus Jones will play.
With Butler set to play, let’s take a look at the projected starting lineup for the team, which may include Jones starting at point guard.
Timberwolves’ Projected Starting Lineup & Roster vs. Warriors
*Notates likely starters Friday against the Warriors
C: Karl-Anthony Towns*, Gorgui Dieng
PF: Taj Gibson*, Anthony Tolliver
SF: Andrew Wiggins*, James Nunnally, Keita Bates-Diop, Luol Deng
SG: Jimmy Butler*, Josh Okogie, C.J. Williams
PG: Tyus Jones*, Derrick Rose
After Derrick Rose’s 50-point explosion against the Jazz, there’s a chance he could wind up starting. I do believe the Timberwolves like his scoring off the bench, so leaving him in that role makes sense. Also pairing Rose with Okogie, the team’s first-round pick out of Georgia Tech, would be ideal. He’s flashed upside while averaging 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.
The injury to Teague is the big spot to watch, but Butler’s return to the lineup will make the Timberwolves starting group look similar to what fans have become accustomed to seeing. Now, we just have to wait and see how long Butler remains not only in the starting lineup but on the team with trade rumors still swirling.