Saying, “I will let them know,” extremely unhappy Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler declared Friday night his availability in Minnesota’s next two games would be determined by … him.
“They don’t know how my body feels,” Butler said after scoring 21 points in the Timberwolves’ 116-99 loss Friday to the Warriors (per ESPN). “So if I’m nicked up, then you can count on that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.”
Minnesota’s next two games are back-to-back: Sunday at the Trail Blazers and Monday at the Clippers.
Butler’s distaste for playing for the Timberwolves has been an ongoing, drama-filled nightmare for the team. He wants out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes and has been doing his darndest to make life miserable for the team, hoping his actions can expedite the process. So far, it hasn’t.
He sat out Wednesday night’s game against the Jazz because, as he told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, his “body was hurting.”
Butler has appeared in seven of the Timberwolves’ nine games, averaging 22.3 points and 34 minutes per game. Minnesota is 4-5, last in the Northwest Division.
How much of Butler’s “availability” is affected by his desire to leave the Timberwolves vs. actual health issues likely will dog Butler until his situation is resolved.
“I’m not worried about no deal,” Butler said, per ESPN. “Injury or not, I got to take care of myself. I realize they have a job to do as an organization; I have one to do as a player. But if I’m not in the right with my body to go out there and do it, I don’t want to get hurt. I’ve been hurt almost every year now, so we’re going to take things with caution.”
But when pressed by reporters, he added: “Stop asking me questions about if I’m going to sit out or not. If I’m going to sit out, you probably won’t talk to me on the day I sit out; but if I do, then I do and you can create a story around it with a lot of made-up stuff like y’all normally do.”
Butler, 29, is in his eighth NBA season.