An NBA star player entering Monday had missed three of his team's first 10 games — two of them due explicitly to rest and one because of a vague injury — to start this season. That player is expected to play for a new team in 2019-20, when he could cash in with an expensive new free agent contract.
And that player is … either the Wolves' Jimmy Butler or the Raptors' Kawhi Leonard.
In a strange little bit of symmetry, both Butler and Leonard sat out their respective road games Sunday — Butler for rest, Leonard ostensibly because of a sore foot.
Both players had missed two previous games during the season. Both players' teams had road games again Monday. Both are among the NBA's best two-way players. And indeed both very well could be on new teams next year.
When they've played, both have put up numbers befitting of their status as stars. But their respective situations feel completely different.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.