Jimmy Butler

Gameday: With no Durant, keep your eyes on Klay vs Jimmy Butler

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AP

Gameday: With no Durant, keep your eyes on Klay vs Jimmy Butler

OAKLAND -- Two of the hottest teams in the NBA collide Wednesday night, when the Warriors, without Kevin Durant, face the remodeled Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Durant came away limping after taking a knee to his left thigh on the Warriors’ first offensive possession Monday against Miami. He played through it, but soreness kept him out of practice Tuesday and will sideline him Wednesday.

Andre Iguodala will start in place on Durant, head coach Steve Kerr announced two hours before tip-off.

The Warriors (8-3), who have won their last four games, faced the Timberwolves (7-3) twice during their preseason sojourn to China. This is the first of three meetings in the regular season.

Minnesota in the offseason brought in eight new faces, including three starters, in its quest to enter the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons -- the longest active postseason drought in the NBA.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Klay Thompson & Co. vs. Jimmy Butler: Butler is among the new acquisitions and Wolves quickly discovered his value when they were blown out in the two games he missed. They haven’t lost since the former Bulls All-Star returned on Oct. 27. Though Thompson will get the bulk of the defensive assignment, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will take their turns.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L thigh contusion) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Timberwolves: C Justin Patton (L foot surgery) is listed as out.

OFFICIALS

Ken Mauer (crew chief), Derrick Collins, Gediminas Petraitis.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won three of four meetings last season and have won 17 of the last 20.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

TRACKING THE KAT: Wolves C Karl-Anthony Towns may be the best of the talented young big men to confront the Warriors of late. The 7-footer is averaging 20.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over the past five games. He’s fabulous on the block but also capable of launching the 3. The Warriors could’ve used Durant’s length but will have to settle for whatever they get from Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee, Jordan Bell, a dash of David West and Green. This could be a low-minutes game for Pachulia. Best bet: get Towns in foul trouble.

ATTACK THE PAINT: Opponents are shooting 49.5 percent against the Wolves, making them dead last in field-goal percentage defense. They do a decent job defending the arc (35.1 percent, 11th in the league) but can be vulnerable against half-court sets and particularly in transition. Only two teams allow more points in the paint and only one allows more off fast breaks.

THE ROTATION FILES: This will be intriguing, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr continues to search for the right rotations. The Timberwolves are rife with cross-matching possibilities. Durant’s absence will hurt. Aside from presuming either Stephen Curry or Thompson will be on the floor at all times, it’ll be interesting to see how and when Kerr deploys his bench.

Report: Cavs won't be acquiring Paul George or Jimmy Butler

Report: Cavs won't be acquiring Paul George or Jimmy Butler

Do not expect the Cavs to add Paul George or Jimmy Butler.

Cleveland won't be able to trade for either player, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Why not?

[RELATED: Report: Cavs players tell Jimmy Butler to stay away from Cleveland]

Kevin Love was not generating enough interest.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert elected to part ways with GM David Griffin -- who was working on trying to acquire George or Butler.

George has reportedly told the Pacers he will opt out next summer and wants to sign with the Lakers in free agency.

Butler has two more years on his deal before he can opt out.

Love is owed more than $72.3 million combined over the next three seasons.

In the NBA Finals against the Warriors, he averaged 16.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, but shot below 39 percent from the field.

He made nearly 39 percent of his 3-point attempts.

The Warriors routinely targeted him in pick-and-roll situations...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Report: Cavs players tell Jimmy Butler to stay away from Cleveland

Report: Cavs players tell Jimmy Butler to stay away from Cleveland

It's a fluid situation indeed.

Several players on the Cavaliers warned Jimmy Butler to stay away from joining them in Cleveland, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Before he was let go as Cleveland's GM on Monday, David Griffin had reportedly been working on multi-team trade scenarios in an effort to acquire Butler from the Bulls.

On Tuesday evening, TNT's David Aldridge reported that Butler informed the Cavs that he no longer wants to seek a trade to Cleveland.

LeBron James can opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent again.

Butler has three years remaining on his deal with Chicago, but he can opt out in the summer of 2019.

Kyrie Irving can also opt out in 2019, while Kevin Love won't be a free agent again until 2020.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller