Minnesota Timberwolves disgruntled star Jimmy Butler is expected to play in the season opener against the San Antonio Spurs later this week.
Butler, 29, has been publicly at the center of trade talks recently this offseason and has not yet been moved. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, talks between the Timberwolves and the Miami Heat have come to a stall — which, for now, removes the most likely suitor for the four-time All-Star.
After a reportedly ugly first practice back with the team and then conflicting reports on whether or not he held a player’s only meeting the following day, it now seems that Butler will be back on the court for Minnesota.
When asked by The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski whether or not he expects negative reactions from the fans if he is not traded before the season opener, he had a characteristically candid response.
If nothing else, Butler has been open and honest about how he feels about not only his teammates but his front office. He has spoken out against head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau as well as GM Scott Layden.
His criticism of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins has not been a secret, either. While the home fans of the Timberwolves are likely not going to love seeing him back in their uniform after how much drama he has been rooted in, the wing says he is not nervous about their potential outcry.
He told Krawczynski that he welcomes such a response and it would fuel his energy for the season. Even if trade talks are delayed for now, they may pick up again some time before the All-Star break as it’s highly unlikely he returns to Minnesota and the organization will eventually want some value back for their investment.