The Jimmy Butler versus the Minnesota Timberwolves saga has been going on for a while now. He made it very clear that he did not want to be there anymore. He told the team he wanted to be traded even when Minnesota brass came to see him while he was in Los Angeles. The Timberwolves have tried to trade him to no avail as a reported deal with the Miami Heat fell through recently. With that happening, it almost seemed as if Jimmy was going to be in Minnesota whether he wanted to be there or not, so he showed up to practice today and that is when the drama picked up even more. Butler scrimmaged but he decided to team with the third-stringers. The talented two-way player not only came out and dominated the scrimmage with the third-stringers, but he was going at the young Timberwolves' stars, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, verbally going at them even to the point of berating them and even calling them soft indirectly in the scrimmage.. He was going at his coach, Tom Thibodeau. And Jimmy even took a shot at the general manager, Scott Layden, saying " You [expletive] need me . You cannot win without me." The method to Jimmy's madness was more than likely to force a trade, but was he really wrong in what he said?
The Timberwolves were a team led by two young players, Wiggins and Towns, that were going nowhere fast with them leading. Neither was assertive, had a toughness to win big games or was the unquestioned leader of the team. They may have eventually made the playoffs, but there were no guarantees at all. Before Jimmy arrived, the team was 31-51 in their first season under Thibs with the though that they would get better. By inserting Jimmy into their starting lineup, the Timberwolves made the playoffs for the first time in a long time and they were 16 wins better. The thing in unequivocally brought to the Timberwolves was his will to win. When the team was looking lost, Jimmy was the one who would make a play or two to keep them from losing direction and the game. Before Jimmy, the Timberwolves just did not have anyone that hated losing more than they loved winning. Jimmy is that type of guy and based on his story of hard work to greatness, you can see why he has that high resolve and competitiveness.
The reason Butler clashed with Towns and Wiggins is because of their lack of willingness to do what needs to be done in order to get a win. The young stars are supremely talented. Who wouldn't want a wing player in Wiggins that can defend well when he wants along with giving you a variety of skills on the offensive end of the court? Towns can go inside along with facing defenders up and sometimes shooting three-pointers. They are both talented basketball players, but they could be much more. Towns seems to hover on the perimeter a little too much for some and he generally does not bring the physicality to the offensive end. Wiggins, on the other hand, seems to be engaged sometimes on the floor and the non-existent on the court at times as well. Both could be bigtime stars if they delved more into their skill set.
Unfortunately for them, Butler ran out of patience trying to teach them the ways of winning. He finally understood he needed to leave Minneapolis if he wanted to win bigger because he cannot do so with the way his fellow stars are. If only Towns and Wiggins hated to lose as much as Butler then this situation may have never happened. The delivery of the message may not have been what everyone wanted but it sure was on point.