October 17, 2018 / 6:40 AM / a year ago

Wolves owner: Butler to play hard while awaiting trade

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and disgruntled swingman Jimmy Butler have reached something of a truce.

FILE PHOTO: Apr 11, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) shoots in the fourth quarter against Denver Nuggets at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking Tuesday to the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune, which he also owns, Taylor said he assured Butler that the team would continue seeking to fulfill the player’s request for a trade, and that Butler agreed he would play hard for the Timberwolves as long as he is with the club.

“The latest is he is going to be going to practice every day, which he has been, and plans to play in games,” Taylor told his newspaper. “He will be a regular team player. What I said to him in the meantime is our GM, Scott Layden, will be talking to other teams to see if there is a trade that works.”

As for playing with full effort, “(Butler) said that is the only way he knows how to do it,” Taylor said.

Butler can be a free agent next summer, but Taylor doesn’t anticipate the 29-year-old Marquette product remaining in Minnesota through the entire season.

“That is not part of the plan, but as you know, things can change,” Taylor said. “But that is not what we have agreed to.”

The Timberwolves reportedly were close to a deal with the Miami Heat last week, but negotiations broke down, according to multiple media outlets.

After six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Butler joined the Timberwolves last season. He appeared in 59 games in 2017-18, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals.

For his career, Butler has averages of 16.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 458 games (353 starts). He is a four-time All-Star and a four-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, and he was selected the league’s Most Improved Player in 2014-15.

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