Leader of the pack: Butler's antics receive Thibodeau's stamp of approval

Associated Press

"I'm on Jimmy's side", George said (via ESPN). "It's only our second year together (in Minnesota), but I've been around Jimmy for a long time".

"The important thing is we have to do what we think is best for our team and we always will do that", Thibodeau said.

Karl-Anthony Towns, one target of Butler's critiques during the Wednesday sitdown with Nichols, also sought to downplay the practice in question, saying, "It was just practice".

Jimmy Butler has the support of at least one player in the National Basketball Association as speculation continues to build around the future of the Timberwolves star following his trade request.

Butler did not travel with the Timberwolves for their Friday road exhibition game against the Milwaukee Bucks, with Thibodeau telling reporters the four-time All-Star remained in Minneapolis for conditioning.

Butler told ESPN he was waiting for one of his teammates to stand up to him, but it never happened. "Our conversations have been nothing but cordial and I have never used that kind of language in negotiations ..."

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Jimmy Butler's relationship with the Minnesota Timberwolves can best be described as complicated.

"Who's the most talented player on our team? KAT".

To say this has been quite a week for the Minnesota Timberwolves would be an understatement.

Thibodeau, who has been reluctant to deal Butler despite his straightforward trade request, reportedly called up Riley after a deal had already been agreed upon and asked for more draft picks. "It's not uncommon, when players scrimmage, that there'll be some talk". He doesn't want to be on the team anymore, there's drama between him and their other stars and if they don't trade him they'll end up losing him for nothing in free agency.

Thibodeau said he would not comment on Butler's reported criticism of Towns and Wiggins. However, point guard Jeff Teague went on Twitter to call that report "fake news", saying there was no such meeting. "And it's OK to confront - that's not an issue". So, I understand that you got a job to do, we have a job to do, and that's what we have to do. Certain players looked out of sync on offense Friday in particular, with Towns in early foul trouble and Andrew Wiggins away from the team while expecting his first child.

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