Butler, according to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, has turned down a four-year, $110 million extension from Minnesota, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News reports. Butler, who played his first season with the Wolves last year, has a $19.8 million player option for the 2019-20 season. He'll presumably turn that down as well, opting into free agency with an opportunity to explore more options. Prior to tearing his meniscus in late February, the four-time All-Star averaged 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from deep. His shooting percentage and steals per game both represented career highs. Considering his future with the team is now in limbo, it's possible the Timberwolves begin exploring trade options for Butler if there's fear he will leave in the summer of 2019.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler's knee injury in Game 5 against the Rockets was simply soreness and that he won't need any sort of procedure during the offseason, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports. Butler had surgery on his right knee at the end of February, eventually forcing him to sit out 17 games while going through the recovery process. He was cleared for the final few outings of the regular season and for the playoffs, seeing a full workload against the Rockets for all but the final game of their first-round series. Coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed Monday that his star wing wasn't dealing with anything more than some soreness in his knee and Butler will be able to avoid any sort of procedure, so look for him to be fully ready by the time training camp arrives. Butler is set to make $18.7 million next season and he should once again serve as one of the Timberwolves' go-to options.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler didn't play in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Rockets because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports. This could help explain Butler's relatively quiet night, as he finished with just 10 points (4-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt), five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block across 30 minutes as the Timberwolves were eliminated from the playoffs. The 28-year-old returned from right knee surgery late in the season and didn't have much time to get up to speed before the postseason, so some soreness isn't all too surprising.
Butler tallied 19 points (7-17 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-5 FT), nine rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes during Monday's 119-100 loss to the Rockets. Butler appeared very frustrated throughout the Game Four loss, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting. The Wolves were right with the Rockets at the half but gave up 50 points in the third quarter to basically take themselves out of the equation. Butler played 38 minutes in the loss so the ankle tweak from the last game did not seem to be a factor. He is going to need to bring his A-game if the Wolves hope to steal Game Five on Wednesday.
Butler compiled 28 points (10-19 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 4-6 FT), seven rebounds, five assists and one steal in 41 minutes during Saturday's 121-105 victory over the Rockets. Butler appeared rejuvenated in Saturday's home victory, leading the team with 28 points in 42 minutes of action. He seemed to have been hobbled by a number of injuries in the first two games of the series but looked much better in this one. He did appear to injure his ankle at one point but played through it and looked fine down the stretch. The Wolves are going to need to keep up the intensity if they hope to tie things up in the next game on Monday.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||69||487||45.7||76||35.3||455||84.6||1505||21.81||2572|