As the Jimmy Butler saga continues in Minnesota, one teammate is happy he’s not in that position. We’re talking about Derrick Rose, of course.
Butler wants to leave, but the Timberwolves are being stubborn. And apparently, they think getting Ben Simmons for him is fair value. In either case, it’s becoming a mess. Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to trade Butler, but owner Glen Taylor is open to moving him. And quickly, as to not distract his T-Wolves any further as they prepare for another season.
“I’m happy it’s not me, to tell you the truth,” Rose said to ESPN’s Nick Friedell following Friday’s practice. “I’ve been through all that. Walked away (from basketball), rape case, all that.”
Comparing a “rape case” to trade rumors/player-team standoffs sure is something. Outside of that — well, well outside of that — Rose knows the scrutiny that comes with these standoffs.
“I’m just trying to stay out of – out of sight, out of mind, that’s why I haven’t been saying nothing too crazy in the media because I’m trying to focus on what I need to focus on, and that’s to have a productive year. Have a healthy year. And really help these young guys to push them and see how good they can become,” he adds.
The Timberwolves are coming off their first playoff appearance in 13 years. And Butler played a big part in it, putting up 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 35% from long range across 59 games. They would need all 82 games to clinch their spot, too. Minnesota took out the Denver Nuggets on the final night of the season to make it to the dance. Without Butler, though, they probably aren’t a playoff team this season — depending on what they get back, that is — if they trade him.
Still, Rose almost can’t believe this is happening.
“(Butler’s trade demand) was just a surprise, not only to me, I think to everyone that he wanted to leave,” he adds. “I didn’t know what the situation is. I just didn’t know it was that bad. Even being here, I didn’t know it was that bad.”
Will it have a satisfying ending?