Butler’s team meeting came a day after his expletive-filled return to practice.
Jimmy Butler reportedly called a players-only meeting on Thursday following the four-time All-Star’s return to Timberwolves’ practice Wednesday.
During the meeting, Butler reportedly told his teammates he would “compete with them” to start 2018-19, per Stadium and The Athletic’s Shams Charania. His announcement came just one day after Butler’s first team appearance since he requested a trade in September.
Charania’s report did receive some pushback in Minnesota. Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague tweeted at the reporter, writing in part “you just made that up bro.”
Butler made headlines upon his return Wednesday with a slew of verbal taunts directed at Minnesota players and management. He defended his practice outburst on Sunday evening, telling ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, “All my emotion came out at one time… That’s my love of the game, that’s the raw me, me at my finest.”
Despite rumors surrounding a potential deal that would send Butler to Miami, the Marquette product now looks likely to start the year in Minnesota. Butler will be a free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Butler is expected to make his season debut with the Timberwolves on Oct. 17 at San Antonio. Minnesota reached the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04 in Butler’s first season with the team. He averaged 22.2 points per game last season, but dipped to 15.8 points per game in the Timberwolves’ first-round loss to the Rockets.