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Jimmy Butler Out Tonight, Perhaps Longer

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I have no idea what the strategy is for anyone involved.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy “I just want everyone to work as hard as me” Butler is sitting out tonight with what the team describes as “general soreness” but is apparently part of his strategy to force his way out of town:

I am completely perplexed. As far as I can tell, this is Butler’s decision, and whether and when he rejoins the team is likely up to him as well, none of which is a good look for anyone involved, including the coach and management, who are apparently willing to let Butler call the shots here.

For a guy who claims to work harder than anyone and just wants his teammates to want to win as much as he does, this is a terrible look for Butler. He clearly doesn’t care, and isn’t even pretending to.

The Wolves are likely to lose several games in the near future, with the Jazz in town tonight and then a five game road trip coming up; If Butler skips it and the Wolves look bad, what does that do? It shows they are a worse team without him, but that isn’t news.

The only advantage here is it eliminates the risk of injury that could derail trade talks, but this situation hanging over the franchise, for which there is plenty of blame to go around, has got to end.

The hope is that teams start getting worried about their slow starts and are more willing to pull the trigger on a Butler deal. It needs to happen because this play-don’t play thing is unfair to all.

A house cleaning is in order.

  • Jeff Teague will also miss tonight’s game with a knee injury.