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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler just took his trade request to the next level. The 29-year-old Butler will sit out Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz, but he’s not injured. He’s doing it as part of his ploy to get traded to another team, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski.
Butler showed up to the team’s shootaround, but did not participate. After the shootaround ended, Butler informed head coach Tom Thibodeau of his decision to sit out, according to The Athletic. The team announced Butler would miss the game due to “general soreness and precautionary rest.” Butler denied he was sitting out to force a trade in an interview later Wednesday with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
There are conflicting reports on how the entire exchange went down. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves suggested Butler rest Wednesday night, but expect him to be back for the team’s next game.
The four-time All-Star expressed his desire to be traded from the Timberwolves in September. The team has considered offers for Butler, but has not agreed to a deal. The Timberwolves reportedly came close with the Miami Heat, but the trade fell apart at the last second. The Houston Rockets are also interested in acquiring Butler.
Until Wednesday, Butler has played through the trade rumors. He’s averaging 22.5 points and three steals in six games.
Following Wednesday’s game, the Timberwolves will take on the Golden State Warriors on Friday. It’s unclear whether Butler will take part in that contest if he’s still a member of the Timberwolves.
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