MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - At Minnesota Timberwolves Media Day, it was all about the player who wasn’t there: Jimmy Butler.
Reports came out last week that Butler demanded a trade and wants to leave the team. When pressed by reporters Monday, Head Coach Tom Thibodeau says he’s not going to be forced into any deals and plans to keep the team’s best interest at heart.
“[Butler is] a top ten player in the league and so we’re not going to make a bad deal,” said Thibodeau. “If it’s a good deal then we’re interested, so I think we’ve got Glenn, Scott, myself – I think we’ve made that clear to everyone. I think Jimmy understands. I think the team understands, but you have to put the team first.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” said forward Taj Gibson. “I’m not going to – listen I can’t sugarcoat it. It’s a lot of pressure, but I think we’re up to the challenge. I think the young guys want that challenge and I think it’s good for them I think it’s a chance for them to go out there and spread their wings.”
Players like Karl-Anthony Towns will be looking to take the reins of the team. Towns reportedly agreed to a maximum deal of $190 million over five years.
“You’re going to be playing a game of basketball, you never think about a dollar,” said Towns. “You know you’re here asking your parents – at least I was – for a pretzel or Papa John’s or a Gatorade at the little concession stand, you’re never thinking about all that other stuff. That’s nothing that ever comes to your mind. Now you’re presented with a situation that you could take care of generations of your family and I’m truly blessed, honored.”
Butler did take his physical on Monday. If a trade does not go through, there is a situation where he could join the team in about a week.