Report: Jimmy Butler, Wolves Negotiated Loose Minutes Limit Amid Trade Request

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler plays against the Indiana Pacers in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler has been at the center of controversy since he recently sat out a game due to general soreness, but as it turns out, he and the team had previously agreed to manage his workload after he requested a trade during the offseason. 

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the two sides had agreed to work in "scheduled rest" after he missed training camp and the preseason as he sought to be moved. Per Stein, the agreed upon per-game basis was a "loose" 32 minutes, helping reduce the risk of injury.

The four-time All-Star has undergone a couple of procedures during this calendar year. He underwent knee surgery back in February and returned just before the regular season to help the Timberwolves snap a 13-year playoff drought. He also had an operation on his right hand during the summer.

Butler has already missed three of his team's first 12 games this season. When questioned about his status last week, he explained his situation to reporters, via ESPN:

The 29-year-old has played in 39 minutes and 43 minutes the last two games, respectively. He has yet to play in both ends of a back-to-back.

Minnesota has yet to find a deal for the impending free agent, leaving Butler and the rest of the team in an awkward situation. And although the guard is having another solid season (22.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists), the Timberwolves are just 4-8.

That start has been "very, very frustrating" for Butler.

"The season is still young but we can’t use that for too much longer, because these games come around quick," Butler said on Wednesday, according to USA Today's Martin Rogers. "We know what we have to do. I’d like to say it is going to be better the next game."

For now, Butler and the Timberwolves will have to try to work through their current situation to try to get back to playing winning basketball. Otherwise, this season could turn ugly before any potential trade is reached.