Minnesota Timberwolves owner says Jimmy Butler will play hard

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

Meanwhile, Wolves owner Glen Taylor has moved to assure Thibodeau his job is safe despite a messy offseason.

It seemed like an impossibility a few weeks ago, but as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski summed the situation up on The Jump, Tom Thibodeau "won".

In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night's game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team's players he was "pulling the plug" on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.

Will Butler be the first big trade of the 2018-19 regular season?

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"Well, I'm OK with it", Taylor said. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was 'OK forget it, let's just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.' They finally relented on Josh Richardson.

"Thibs brought him here so that he would stay here, but eventually I think that listening to Jimmy, Thibs and I are lined up on this".

The Timberwolves open the season tonight at San Antonio, and Taylor said that's where the focus should be for Thibodeau. who has three years remaining on a five-year contract worth about $40 million he signed in April 2016. He said he has no regrets. "And Pat Riley literally - I was told - called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone".

A team could see one of their star players suffer a season-ending injury in the first week, or a brawl could result in lengthy suspensions that could be the difference between a postseason berth and a lottery pick. As the No. 8 seed in the playoffs, the Timberwolves lost to Houston in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs.

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