Out of all the twists and turns that the ongoing Jimmy Butler saga has taken, none were more strange than what happened on Wednesday, when the All-Star showed up unannounced at a Minnesota Timberwolves practice and thought it would be fun to remind everyone why he is the team’s alpha dog. Butler, three weeks following his request for a trade, showed up and laid the smack down on his teammates in what is one of the most absurd NBA stories we’ve heard in a while (which, for the NBA, says a lot).
But as it turns out, that might have, somehow, been a net positive for Minnesota. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Butler called a players-only meeting on Thursday to speak with his teammates. Apparently, signs are now starting to point towards him sticking around this season, because this story is never allowed to end.
Considering all that has gone on over the last few weeks, this is legitimately stunning. It was previously reported that Butler wanted to play this season even if Minnesota did not trade him, but for him to say he explicitly wants to compete with the guys he showed up the following day and to tell them all that it’s apparently his team in a meeting he called the day after is amazing.
As for where the Timberwolves go from here, that is a bit hard to decipher. There’s nothing stopping them from still trading Butler — you can make the case that after he apparently showed up Karl-Anthony Towns on Wednesday, that’s still the best course of action. But the reaction from Minnesota appeared to be that the coaching staff was happy with how Butler’s cameo at practice went down, plus as we all know, Tom Thibodeau has been resistant to the idea of trading him in the first place.
This basically leads us to believe that the most logical outcome is that Butler plays this season in Minnesota before hitting free agency in the summer. Will he re-sign with the franchise at that point? Will Thibodeau still have a job at the end of the season? Does he get traded at the deadline? Who knows! This story is completely ridiculous, and as the latest turn of events has shown, absolutely nothing can be counted out when it comes to Jimmy Butler’s future with the Minnesota Timberwolves.