Wiggins: When games count, 'Jimmy is someone you want on your team'
When news first broke in September that Jimmy Butler had requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, teammate Andrew Wiggins' brother Nick reacted with joy. And given the reported tensions between Butler and some of his young teammates, it was believed the feeling was shared by Andrew.
Yet, with Butler seemingly stuck with the Wolves for the time being, Wiggins is spinning the current situation as a positive.
"All I know is, when we start playing the real games, Jimmy is someone you want on your team," Wiggins said Sunday, per the Star Tribune's Kent Youngblood. "At the end of the day, people can say what they want to say."
Wiggins has reportedly been a target of Butler's ire since last season due to his work ethic and defensive lapses. It's a cloud that's hung over the Canadian throughout his four NBA seasons, as many believe Wiggins' passivity has kept him from making the leap into the league's elite.
Butler himself told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that the 23-year-old Wiggins is the most "god-gifted player" on the Timberwolves, but then essentially questioned his drive.
Whether the Butler saga can light a fire under Wiggins remains to be seen. They're expected to start together on the wings when Minnesota opens the regular season Wednesday in San Antonio.
"He's a winner," Wiggins added of Butler. "I feel like, no matter where he is, he's right here now. He's going to give it all, because that’s all he knows."