Jimmy Butler declined an invitation to reconsider his trade demand and opted to reiterate his position to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau met with Butler in Minneapolis following Butler’s physical on Monday, but overtures intended to coax Butler back to the team were rebuffed, according to multiple reports.
On Tuesday, Thibodeau said Minnesota plans to “honor his request” and is currently “seeing what is out there.”
“If something is good for us, that’s what we’re going to do,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t want to keep talking about that. I want to talk about the guys that are here.
“We’re trying to make the best job for the Timberwolves. That’s what my job is.”
Butler was given permission to skip the team’s media day on Monday. He was present only for medical evaluation. Thibodeau said Butler would be away from the team for at least a week because he’s still rehabbing from off season surgery on his right hand. However, Butler posted intense training workout videos and doesn’t appear to be physically limited in any way.
Thibodeau, also the vice president of basketball operations in Minnesota, and owner Glen Taylor are in a standoff over Butler’s status.
Thibodeau said Monday the Timberwolves will not make a “bad deal,” but ESPN reported last week Taylor had intervened and is directing all NBA teams to reach out directly to ownership if interested in Butler.
The root issue with Butler is reportedly disdain for the next generation standouts on the roster, including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Towns said Monday there’s no animosity toward Butler.
According to reports, the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings have kicked the tires on a Butler deal.
Butler, 29, appeared in 59 games last season for the Timberwolves, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals.
He is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $92.3 million contract he signed with Chicago in 2015, but he can enter the free agent market next summer by opting out of the final year. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $18.7 million in 2018-19.
In July, Butler reportedly turned down Minnesota’s four-year extension offer worth $110 million.
—Field Level Media