Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins missed his second straight game with a quad contusion while guard Jimmy Butler shook off illness to make the start against Milwaukee on Friday night at Target Center.
Butler was added to the team’s injury report about an hour after the morning shootaround ended. It wasn’t until 45 minutes before game time that the team announced Butler would play, and start.
Butler started his fifth game — he missed the team’s game in Dallas on Oct. 20, resting on the second of back-to-back games.
Trade talk continues to swirl around Butler, who wants to go elsewhere and has been reassured by team owner Glen Taylor the team will accommodate the request. On Thursday ESPN reported Houston had made an offer that included four first-round draft picks, in alternate years, starting with 2019, a deal that offers future assets more than immediate return. Some have opined Thibodeau would be loathe to make a deal that didn’t offer more up front. But, asked about that after shootaround Friday, Thibodeau said that wasn’t necessarily the case.
“No, you just have to do what’s right,’’ he said. “To me, if something is a good deal, and you think you’re getting good value, you have to do what’s right for the franchise.’’
Wiggins, who was injured early in the Wolves’ victory over Indiana at Target Center on Monday, appears to be close to returning. He wasn’t ruled out of Friday’s game until after he attempted to warm up.
He was unable to play Wednesday in Toronto — his hometown — breaking a 243-game playing streak in the process.
Wiggins said he rues the end of his streak.
“I’ve been playing consecutive games for a long time,” he said. “It was something to be proud of, fighting through whatever injuries you had. Especially in Toronto, getting to go there once a year, it stunk. But injuries are part of the game. Nobody is perfect.’’
Since then? Constant improvement to the point where he was close to playing Friday. It’s likely he’ll play Monday against the Lakers.
“I can play through pain,’’ he said. “It’s just trying to get my leg back to full strength.’’
One night only
Because the Wolves play only one home game vs. Eastern Conference teams a year, Friday was the only appearance at Target Center for Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo, an early-season MVP favorite.
Antetokounmpo came to Target Center on the heels of a triple-double in Milwaukee’s victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday.
In his sixth season he is off to his best start, having averaged 28.5 points, 16.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in four games. He is the first player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1965 to score at least 25 points and have 15 or more rebounds in the first four games of a season. He finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists Friday.
Capable of playing pretty much any position on the floor, Antetokounmpo always has been lethal on the break, but his game has improved every year since he was a 19-year-old rookie.
“You look back and time does go quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “I remember his rookie year, to where he is now. The physical change in his body is significant. He’s really strong. And he’s explosive, a freak athlete. But I think the experience he’s gained from each season has helped him also. He’s worked hard on his shooting, so that’s improved also. But if he has a seam, the amount of ground he can cover in very few steps is a great strength for him.’’