Jimmy Butler returned to made his presence felt. Practicing with the Timberwolves for the first time this season, Butler reportedly confronted coach Tom Thibodeau and teammates Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, while also shouting at Wolves GM Scott Layden, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
At one point in a scrimmage, sources said, Butler turned to GM Scott Layden and screamed, "You (bleeping) need me. You can't win without me." Butler left teammates and coaches largely speechless. He dominated the gym in every way. Jimmy's back.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 10, 2018
According to reports, Butler even led the third-stringers to a victory against the starters during a scrimmage, which apparently invigorated some of his teammates.
A lot of Minnesota players left Timberwolves practice today energized by Butler's performance, mesmerized with him taking end-of-the-bench players and running the table on the regulars, sources said. At the end, he marched out like if a mic drop. Butler delivered a tour de force.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 10, 2018
Butler had previously been excused from training camp and preseason games as the team dealt with his trade request. But with the regular season less than a week away, and Butler still on the team, he reported Wednesday to begin practicing. All along, Butler has been clear that while he wants to be traded, he does not plan to miss regular season games, which would mean forfeiting those game checks.
What happened on Wednesday, however, was always the risk of being stubborn about making a move. Yes, Butler will return, but there will be plenty of drama. While he is the team's best player, it's clear that his return would have negative side effects both on and off the court.
The Wolves were reportedly close to finalizing a deal with the Heat over the weekend , but the Heat are still pushing to make the deal happen. At this point, it appears that the Heat are the only team having substantial talks with the Wolves about a deal.