Butler, who has requested a trade, did not play in the Wolves' final preseason game Friday.
It seems likely that despite Butler's trade request, Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau had no desire to trade his star player in a season that will likely make or break his career in Minnesota. When the Wolves played a preseason game in Milwaukee on Friday, Butler stayed back.
Coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau was equally vague, sticking to the public declaration he made on the team's September 24 media day, three days after Butler's request became public.
Jimmy Butler #23 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to the media during NBA All-Star Media Day as part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. According to Krawczynski, they arrived at an agreement in which Taylor pledged to "continue to work diligently to find a trade as soon as possible", and until that happens, Butler is supposed to be "a good teammate" and continue to "play as hard as he always does".
Butler was acquired by the Timberwolves last year in a draft-day trade from the Bulls, with whom he spent the first six years of his career.
"I can go out there and I can play", Butler said. I think I can do that.
"Sure", he said. "Go ahead, boo me".
Although Butler stopped short of assuring his presence on the court Wednesday, when the Wolves visit San Antonio, Thibodeau said he expects Butler to play against the Spurs as long as he remains on the roster. Whatever is best for our team, that's what we'll do. My name is still attached to this thing, " he said. That's going to make me smile more.
"Man, to be honest, I don't even know if I'll be breathing tomorrow", he said. Butler wouldn't commit to playing Wednesday. "At the end of the day, people can say what they want to say, but he's a victor". They know I have my best interest in it, theirs. "'If I'm out there, if I'm not out there, I want you to be the best basketball player that you can be'". But at the end of the day, he's a victor.