The Timberwolves are trying to impossibly thread a needle whereby they try to promote the enjoyment of Jimmy Butler while actively trying to accommodate his trade request. FSN's halftime show from Wednesday's opener was a mix of highlights — many including Butler — and an interview with owner Glen Taylor (who also owns the Star Tribune) discussing how they are working to trade Butler.
The overall takeaway after watching the game was that the product is fine, but none of it really matters because Butler is going to be gone at some point anyway.
Until the Butler situation is resolved, the Wolves as an organization have hit a bizarre pause button. They might be able to pull things together for 48 minutes every couple of nights — the next test will be Friday's home opener, where a returning all-NBA player will almost certainly be booed on his home court — but nothing about this feels normal.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org