Butler expected to play Timberwolves' opener against Spurs

The gist of the meeting, per Krawczynski, is that Taylor reassured Butler they would continue seeking out a trade in good faith, and in the meantime Butler would go about his business as a professional while with the Wolves. Now though, with the 2018-19 regular season just days away, it appears clear that any deal to bring Butler to Miami is now off the table.

On Wednesday, Butler left teammates and coaches speechless with a dominant performance in his return to practice and called a players-only meeting a day later. By some accounts, Minnesota has been asking for much higher of a price than other teams are willing to meet for a player in the previous year of his contract, and there have also been reports of disagreement in the Timberwolves' front office on whether to pursue any kind of deal, with Tom Thibodeau, the organization's head coach and president of basketball operations, thought to be a fan of Butler's hard-nosed style.

"Sure. Go ahead, boo me", Butler said. "Please, come with it".

It seems likely that despite Butler's trade request, Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau had no desire to trade his star player in a season that will likely make or break his career in Minnesota.

The Timberwolves canceled practice Thursday, though Butler told Nichols he did meet with his teammates.

"They want me to go out here and hoop to the best of my abilities", Butler said. "When I'm gassed and I'm exhausted, I'll look down at Thibs and say, 'Thibs, I need a break"'.

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United manager Jose Mourinho is said to have watched the player during the global break and was impressed with his performances for the national team.

However, former Chicago Bulls star Butler is set to face the Spurs on Wednesday, according to Thibodeau. If Butler does open the season with the Wolves, that means he also figures to play in Friday's home opener against Cleveland at Target Center.

"Everything's fluid, " Thibodeau said. "Make sure I'm healthy".

"Man, to be honest, I don't even know if I'll be breathing tomorrow", he said.

"I want to help everyone to be better". My name is still attached to this thing, " he said. Whatever is best for our team, that's what we'll do.

Andrew Wiggins, for his part, has never expressed any ill will toward Butler. I want to compete, they know that.

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