The Minnesota Timberwolves will be without disgruntled small forward Jimmy Butler for Wednesday’s game against the Jazz. But the reason why remains unclear. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Butler will not participate in hopes of progressing his ongoing trade saga:
Jimmy Butler is taking next step in six-week-long process aimed at getting the All-Star out of Minnesota by sitting tonight against Utah, and could lead to extended absence for Butler, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 31, 2018
However ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports it was a mutual decision between the two parties, no drama stirring:
Sources: The Timberwolves suggested that Jimmy Butler rest vs. Utah tonight and there’s an expectation that he will join the team on flight to Bay Area to play Golden State on Friday. Teams talking to Minnesota about trades say that the asking price remains steep.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 31, 2018
Wojnarowski also included that Butler reportedly texted ESPN’s Rachel Nichols and said it was about body soreness.
Butler has played in six of Minnesota’s seven games so far this year, averaging 22.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG. Speculation has swirled around Butler since his trade demands reached a fever pitch in late-September. Wojnarowski says talks now “remain stagnant.”