Jimmy Butler will give the Minnesota Timberwolves no choice but to learn to play without him.
The Timberwolves star plans to sit out Wednesday’s game again the Utah Jazz for reasons that are labeled “precautionary” but might be more dubious than that. NBA sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski that Butler might take an extended absence in an effort to force the Timberwolves to trade him.
Buttler requested a trade last month after telling the Timberwolves he won’t re-sign with themÂ next summer, when he has the option to opt out of the final year of his contract. He sat out most of training camp and preseason while he waited for the Timberwolves to oblige him.
But Minnesota’sÂ steep and ever-shifting asking priceÂ for Butler reportedly prevented a trade from materializing and him to accept starting the season on its roster as a fully committed while the team makes good-faith efforts to trade him.
The shaky truce between Butler and the Timberwolves appears to have dissolved after just two weeks and seven games, in which he averaged a team-high 22.5 points and added 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and three steals per game.
Butler now appears set to sit, while the 3-4 Timberwolves may consider accepting the Houston Rockets’ whopping renewed bidÂ or another team’s offer for the disgruntled star.
UPDATE (3:05 p.m. ET):Â Butler’s absence may not be an extended one, after all.
The Minnesota star plans to travel with the team to Golden State and play against the Warriors on Friday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday, citing sources.