Jimmy Butler only scored 13 points in the T'Wolves loss to the Kings Friday night. It seems like a different number from the box score is upsetting the embattled star more than the low-scoring night.
Butler, who has consistently requested a trade from Minnesota, played 41 minutes in Sacramento while the T'Wolves dropped to 4-9 on the season.
"That s--- has to stop," Butler told Sam Amick of The Atletic after the loss when asked about his high number of minutes played. "We've got f---ing 14 other guys."
Earlier on Friday it was reported by Marc Stein of The New York Times that Butler and the T'Wolves agreed to 32 minutes per night to minimize injury risk while he still requests a trade. Butler denied the report and says it's all about winning for the four-time All-Star.
"But 41 minutes whenever I’m winning, I don’t give a damn," Butler said.
For Butler, he says the real problem with playing him 41 minutes is what that does to other players' mental games as Minnesota continues to underperform.
"Yeah, we’ve got f---ing guys who can play. We’ve got to instill confidence in everybody. I think my confidence is high enough," Butler said. "I want all my guys to be successful, man. I want all these guys to play.
"Is that a convo (with Thibodeau) that I’ve got to have? Yeah, and then everybody wants to talk about how the motherf---er’s not healthy [he said of himself]. Well God damn, we’re playing 41, 43, 44 (minutes per game), it takes a toll on top of all the work that I do that don’t nobody even see.
"We’ll fix it. We’ll do something. We’ll talk."
Butler is playing 36.1 minutes per game, which ranks him fourth in the NBA. But he's averaged 39 minutes per game in the past five contests. Last season, his first in Minnesota, he averaged 36.7 minutes per game, good for third in the NBA.
The relationship between Butler and the T'Wolves gets rockier and rockier every day. Like any other relationship, it's time to kiss and make up or move on.