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Monday Cup of Canis: Another Preseason Loss, The Butler Saga Continues

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A new week brings the same old stories

2018 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Bucks 125, Wolves 107

The Wolves and Bucks met last night in a preseason contest in Ames, Iowa, and thankfully it wasn’t televised. That means we weren’t subjected to another loss in which the Wolves gave up 125 points, but also means we can’t provide you with much of a recap.

The Bucks built a 10 point lead in the first quarter, and after the Wolves hung around in the second, went on a 12-1 run to start the second half that basically put the game away.

The Wolves rested Derrick Rose, giving rookie Josh Okogie the start in his place. Okogie showed his strengths and weaknesses: He grabbed eight boards, had three assists, a block, a steal, and took a charge in his 25 minutes, but also shot 1-7 from the field. He’s active and energetic, has some defensive chops, but is really going to struggle to contribute on offense this year.

Karl-Anthony Towns had a huge game, finishing with 33 and 12 in 28 minutes, but was really one of the few Wolves who played well. A big factor last night was turnovers: The Bucks turned 21 Wolves turnovers into 27 points, and pretty much cruised as a result.

Couple of notes:

  • Taj Gibson hurt his ankle and didn’t play in the 2nd half. He said he’s fine and could have returned if the game mattered. Shouldn’t be a long term issue.
  • C.J. Williams got extensive run (27 minutes) and impressed a bit with 12 points.
  • What’s up with Andrew Wiggins? Six points on six shots in 24 minutes. Four turnovers, (and oddly five offensive rebounds.) Another invisible performance.
  • It’s just preseason. Always worth remembering that these results don’t indicate much.

And a quote:

That Teague quote is so emblematic. This is not a team that spent any time building habits together over the summer. It’s not a team that particularly enjoys each other or their collective basketball. Yay.

The Jimmy Butler Saga

It feels like this story just keeps repeating itself. Much like Wolves fandom as a whole, there is the aura of Sisyphus around these Jimmy Butler trade talks. The Wolves and Heat get close to a deal, the Wolves ask for more at the last second, talks break down.

Look, it’s obvious that all of the leaks about these negotiations are coming from the Heat and/or Butler’s camp, as they are all painting the Wolves as disorganized, asking for too much, and not negotiating in good faith.

I have no idea what’s true and what’s not, but while this saga was fun in a depressing sort of way for a while, now it’s just irritating.

Woj had the story yesterday as usual. A couple of interesting nuggets in there: Apparently owners were involved, which is usually a last step, but ultimately they couldn’t close the deal.

Woj reports that the Heat had finally softened on including Josh Richardson, which is obviously a huge issue for the Wolves, who really have to have him to make a deal work. The problem is we don’t know if that’s actually true, or a false leak to make the Wolves look even worse (something they really need little help with.)

Assuming it is true, I’m hopeful a deal can eventually get done. But who knows what the structure was? The Heat might have insisted the Wolves also take Dion Waiters if they were getting Richardson.

My bottom line for a Heat deal: If I can get Richardson and not take any contracts that extend past 2020, I’m good. Moving Dieng elsewhere is a bonus. Anything else is a bonus.

I will say this: Realizing that all of the public information is coming from Miami/Butler, I do believe that Thibs remains extremely hesitant to actually complete a deal. He doesn’t want to do this.

We’ll see where this goes.