The Minnesota Timberwolves cancelled their Thursday practice a day after disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler confronted his teammates, coaches and front office personnel.
Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic broke the news.
Timberwolves will not practice today. No media availability. Of course— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) October 11, 2018
On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Butler told GM Scott Layden in practice "You (expletive) need me, Scott. You can't win without me." Not long after, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Butler called teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins "soft," and said the former can't "do (expletive) against me."
Wednesday's practice marked Butler's first session with the team since he requested a trade three weeks ago. The four-time All-Star sat out preseason and trained on his own when the team traveled on the road. Butler's behavior at practice left the coaches shocked and speechless, per Wojnarowski.
Butler met with Timberwolves management three weeks ago to inform them he didn't plan on staying past the 2018-19 seaso and asked for a trade. Per Wojnarowski, Butler requested a deal to the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks, since all three teams carry enough cap space to give him the super max contract.
The Miami Heat and Houston Rockets have both been aggressive in trades for Butler. However, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that a deal with Miami fell through on the weekend. They reportedly offered Josh Richardon and a first-round pick for Butler.
The 29-year-old Butler is widely expected to opt out of his contract and test the free agent market after the 2018-19 season, unless a team trades for him and gives the All-Star forward the super max.
Butler rejected a four-year, $110 million over the summer, and it's believed his trade request stems from the contract status. Though Butler has maintained he won't sit out any games, his tenure in the Gopher Stat is undoubtedly on the verge of ending. The only question at this point is when, not if, he leaves the Timberwolves, and if it'll be via trade or free agency.