The situation in Minnesota is getting ugluer by the day.
After declaring they were working to find a deal for Jimmy, the Wolves have been stagnant on a trade, with some even questioning whether they’re serious about sending him at all.
In Butler’s camp, they’ve grown increasingly frustrated with that lack of progression on finding a trade, reiterating to the club that they want out.
These feelings finally came to a head today during practice, when the veteran shooting guard himself made a surprise appearance. Apparently, he used the time to let his feelings fly, sparing nothing in his quest to light a fire under the squad.
Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Butler yelled things like “they ain’t s–t” and “they soft” towards Wiggins and KAT, even going as far as to yell at team executives.
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
Afterward, when J.B. had the chance to lighten the blow, he chose to double down on his aggressive behavior in an interview with Rachel Nichols:
“A lot of it is true. I haven’t played basketball in so long. I’m so passionate. I don’t do it for any reason but to compete. All my emotion came out in one time. Was it the right way? No! But I can’t control that when I’m out there competing. That’s raw me, me at my finest, me at my purest. Inside the lines.”
With situations like this becoming the norm for Butler, some are considering that he might be the problem.
“As good as Jimmy is, I think you have to be concerned about the impact he is going to have in the locker room, on your younger guys, on your coaching staff, all of that.” said one NBA GM to Sean Deveney of Sporting News. “He has gotten the benefit of the doubt, but if you look at his history, he’s had trouble getting along in Chicago and now in Minnesota.”
Of course, all of this has us wondering what’s next.
A trade seems all but inevitable at this point, but how can the Wolves move on from the dumpster-fire this will no doubt leave behind? And for Butler’s next destination, how can anyone be sure he won’t cause problems there?
It’ll be interesting to note how this all plays out. Though, this doesn’t have the feeling like this is going to bode very well for either party.