The Jimmy Butler saga isn’t over yet. In fact, it may be nowhere near done. But it’s taken an interesting turn over the past 24 hours or so. For starters, Derrick Rose is happy to not be in Butler’s shoes. More than that, though, is the fact that his teammates are speaking out. In short, nobody saw this coming.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to look at it from a player’s standpoint and a business standpoint,” teammate Taj Gibson would say via ESPN’s Nick Friedell following Friday’s practice. “He’s trying to do what he got to do, but everybody’s calling him. It’s more of a [situation where] I’ve got to go see him kind of thing. But I worked out with him all summer, so when I said what I meant, it was like a right hook. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know…”
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are coming off their first playoff appearance after a 13-year dry spell. And without Butler, they probably don’t make it back next season. For starters, LeBron James plays for the Los Angeles Lakers now. The San Antonio Spurs might be on the fringes, but still made the playoffs despite having Kawhi Leonard for only nine games. Now they have DeMar DeRozan; something tells us he’ll play more than nine times this coming season. And remember, the Timberwolves needed to beat the Denver Nuggets on the final night to clinch. Without Butler, the Nuggets could leap-frog them this season.
There are just too many variables at play here to say which way this will go. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve spilled plenty of ink on the saga. Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to trade Butler. Yet, their owner Glen Taylor wants to move on as quickly as possible.
Will they be able to reach a compromise?