Jimmy Butler trade update: Timberwolves owner confirms team remains committed to deal disgruntled All-Star
Glen Taylor also said Tom Thibodeau's job is safe despite all the turmoil in Minnesota
Jimmy Butler's trade request and the team's subsequent effort to satisfy his wish has dominated the news cycle for much of the last month. Now, as Minnesota readies for its season opener on Wednesday, it appears the Timberwolves are as trade talks have cooled.
Despite the lack of success finding a deal in the market to this point, however, Wolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed to the Star Tribune that while Butler's trade request hasn't been met, the team is still shopping the market and talking with teams in search of a deal.
"The latest is he is going to be going to practice every day, which he has been, and plans to play in games," Taylor said. "He will be a regular team player. What I said to him in the meantime is our GM, Scott Layden, will be talking to other teams to see if there is a trade that works."
Butler is under contract until next summer so it's up to Minnesota to satisfy his wish, but he's made clear he has no interest in re-signing with the team when he becomes a free agent. For the Wolves, getting something in return for an inevitable departure would be wise.
And Minnesota ownership is committed to making a wise decision. Taylor, in fact, responded in the affirmative when asked if the team was committed to trading Butler, and added they aren't planning on him remaining with the team beyond the season.
"That is not part of the plan, but as you know, things can change," Taylor said. "But that is not what we have agreed to.
"I think [Butler has] made it very clear that he would not re-sign with us at the end of the year and therefore it is in our interest to get a trade so that we can get a player or two to replace him that helps our team."
The Timberwolves begin their season on Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, and Butler, who has returned to practice after being away from the team for much of the preseason, is expected to play "if he feels good."
"I'm planning on playing him, and if he feels good he'll be ready to go," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said via NBA.com on Tuesday.
As for where Thibodeau stands in all this, Taylor says his job is safe despite the apparent team turmoil and he isn't coaching for his job.
"No, no, the only thing now is that we are starting to play games and I am asking him to concentrate on coaching," said Taylor. "GM Scott Layden will help to see if any trades are available."
The Wolves and Spurs tip Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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