The Minnesota Timberwolves expect a familiar face to be in the lineup when their season tips off in three days.
Addressing the media after practice Sunday, coach Tom Thibodeau announced that he expects disgruntled wing Jimmy Butler to play in the team's season opener. Minnesota's campaign tips off in San Antonio against the Spurs on Wednesday evening.
League sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania that trade talks centered around Butler between the Timberwolves and Miami Heat are currently inactive. The two sides reportedly got as far as the proverbial one-yard line last weekend before Minnesota attempted to increase their return at the last minute, causing the deal to fall apart.
Butler is said to have remained steadfast in his desire to be traded, though he has been practicing with the Timberwolves in recent days after staying away from the team for most of the preseason. In his first practice back with the team on Wednesday, Butler reportedly verbally lambasted Thibodeau, general manager Scott Layden, and the team's recent top draftees, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.