Timberwolves president Tom Thibodeau – after saying a week-and-a-half ago he expects Jimmy Butler to report in a week if not traded – dodged questions about Butler reporting. Butler has put out word he doesn’t plan to miss regular-season games if healthy.
Minnesota has yet to trade him. So, when will he actually report?
When the Timberwolves return from a West Coast preseason road trip early Thursday morning, President of Basketball Operations and Coach Tom Thibodeau is expected to push for Butler to return to practice and start preparations for the regular season, league sources said.
Butler could return as soon as next week, but hasn’t made a decision and is still experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist, league sources said.
That continued soreness Butler says he’s feeling in his wrist could give him wide latitude not show up. How hard will Thibodeau press? If Butler withholds playing services for 30 days, he won’t become a free agent next summer or accrue a year of service. But if Butler undergoes elective surgery to provide a reasonable excuse for not reporting, that could even further tank his trade value.
Nobody seems happy with this situation, but everyone has appeared content to give it time to play out. That accepted stalemate could be expiring.