LOS ANGELES – Last week at Timberwolves’ media day, Tom Thibodeau gave this as the official reason why Jimmy Butler would remain away from the team while the Wolves tried to trade him: Butler would need a week to rehabilitate his surgically repaired right hand from the summer.
But Thibodeau also said that if Butler was still a member of the Wolves over the next week he expected Butler to come back and rejoin the team.
Monday marked a week since media day, but when asked about it after the Wolves practiced in Los Angeles, Thibodeau wasn’t offering specifics related to Butler’s status. All he would say is that it’s a “fluid” situation.
“Like I said our job is to focus on the guys that are here,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what we’re doing as we get ready for our next game and our improvement each day. Just understand what your job is.”
When asked again if he foresaw Butler coming back to the team if trade talks dragged on the next few weeks, Thibodeau again didn’t offer specifics.
“Just deal with the guys that are here,’ Thibodeau said. “That’s it. That’s what we have to do. Again, that’s where our focus is. Everyone understand what your job is. Do your job. Don’t be distracted.”
The Wolves play their next preseason game Wednesday against the Clippers, one of the team Butler would like to join.