The Jimmy Butler saga has been a bit of an embarrassing one for the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver was sure to weigh in at some point.
Butler, who has repeatedly made it clear that he wants out of Minnesota, stepped things up this week by acting out during his first practice session of the offseason with the team. The player later revealed holding a players-only meeting with teammates during which he aired his frustrations but indicated that he will play during the regular season if a trade agreement isn't reached.
Silver, meanwhile, spoke to TMZ Sports on Thursday, insisting he will not get involved and will leave the parties to work things out on their own.
"I think that Jimmy is obviously a fantastic player," Silver said.
"The Timberwolves had a great season last year. He's got one year left on his contract and I know Jimmy, that if they don't end up doing the right deal for him [to trade him away], he's gonna play hard and he's gonna stay this year."
Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves last month but there has been little progress on that front. With Miami being his preferred destination, the Heat were the team leading the race for his signature; however, talks between the two teams broke down just before the deal got over the line.
This has left the 29-year-old quite frustrated. And, during a meeting with head coach Tom Thibodeau earlier this week, Butler warned that he was going lash out in practice to further reiterate his desire to be traded.
The player stayed true to his word and caused havoc during a scrimmage session on Wednesday in which he aimed vitriol at teammates, Thibodeau, the team's owner and general manager.
The head coach has been stubborn throughout these developments and isn't keen on losing Butler after letting the Chicago Bulls have Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and a draft pick who turned out to be Lauri Markkanen in exchange for the feisty swingman. But he might have to change his stance pretty soon if things don't improve.