After suffering an early exit in the Western Conference Playoffs, rumors and speculations circulated about Jimmy Butler’s frustration with his young teammates, specifically Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. In June, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported that Butler had a problem with Wiggins’ work ethic and approach on the defensive end of the floor.
Weeks before the 2018-19 NBA season started, Jimmy Butler demanded a trade from the Timberwolves. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves have a hard time finding a trade partner for Butler because of their high asking price. When Butler returned to the Timberwolves and joined their practice sessions, he reportedly targeted the management and some of his teammates, including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
Jimmy Butler reached an agreement with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor that he will become a good teammate and play as hard as he always does while the team is finding him a new home. In an interview with Michael Grange of Sportsnet, Andrew Wiggins revealed that their relationship with Butler is not as bad as what most people think it is. Wiggins said that people on social media are only exaggerating the drama happening on their team and added that he and Butler are “always cool.”
“We’ve always been cool. Even after all that stuff happened this summer, from what people made it seem like, nothing happened. We always cool. Even the first time I seen him during training camp and we talked, there was never no problem. People on social media make things bigger than what it is. From the inside looking out, we know it’s not that bigger than what it is. From the inside looking out, we know it’s not that big but from the outside, it looks like ‘oh, something big is going on’ but it ain’t nothing.”
Andrew Wiggins’ recent statement is undeniably a good thing to hear, especially for those Timberwolves’ fans who are hoping that Jimmy Butler will change his mind and consider staying long-term with the team. With their goal to make a huge impact in the deep Western Conference this season, the Timberwolves obviously need Butler’s presence on both ends of the floor.
However, even if Andrew Wiggins fixes his relationship with Jimmy Butler, their first three games playing together in the 2018-19 NBA season showed that they are not meant to be teammates. Per NBA.com, the Timberwolves posted a minus-7.9 net rating when Butler and Wiggins shared the court. Butler is the only teammate Wiggins has a negative net rating.