While the Minnesota Timberwolves still intend to trade Jimmy Butler, the All-Star swingman is sitting out Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz because of soreness, he told Rachel Nichols of ESPN.
Butler indicated he will travel with the team for Friday's game at the Golden State Warriors. He texted Nichols to dismiss a report from The Athletic that he might sit out until his trade request is met.
"Because my body is hurting and I don't want to go out there and risk an injury, people make stuff up?" Butler said in the text. "What are they going to do when I show up and hoop on Friday?"
ESPN reported that Timberwolves president/coach Tom Thibodeau remains the biggest reason Butler is still with the Timberwolves despite requesting a trade about six weeks ago.
According to ESPN, Thibodeau "isn't ready to seriously negotiate a trade yet."
Butler and agent Bernie Lee are said to be frustrated over the Timberwolves' inability to have to work out a trade.
"Butler and his representative continue to express frustration in what they believe is Minnesota's inaction in honoring his trade request, and they have been pushing owner Glen Taylor to speed up the process," ESPN reported.
Butler, 29, is averaging 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in six appearances this season.
The Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are believed to be among the teams expressing the strongest interest in Butler, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets also in the mix.
The Heat reportedly are re-visiting talks after nearing a deal, then backing away -- and the Rockets reportedly included four first-round picks in a recent offer. Sam Amick of the The Athletic reported the Rockets are making no traction in their pursuit of Butler.
Meanwhile, Taylor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he wanted Thibodeau to concentrate mostly on coaching, but apparently, Thibodeau is still involved in talks at least enough to keep Butler from getting dealt.