Jimmy Butler denies he’s sitting out to put more pressure toward trade

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Jimmy Butler is sitting out tonight, not playing when Utah comes to Minnesota.

Why is the question. The first reports said this was the latest strategy for Butler to put pressure on Minnesota to make a trade. Essentially a holdout for a night. Then the Timberwolves responded that this was a planned rest and they told him to sit out.

Of course, Butler himself — and his agent — say this is a planned rest. Butler spoke to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.

Choose to believe what you want. Maybe Butler decided after shootaround that a home game with rest days before and after was the right day to take off for recovery, perhaps his body is sore and he needs the night off.

Or, maybe this is a message because he’s frustrated, but he would never say that for fear of fines/bad PR.

Or, as a third option, it’s a little of both.