The madness at Mayo Clinic Square, the headquarters and training home of the Timberwolves, continues to reach new heights now that Jimmy Butler is back.
Butler, in the public eye with hopes of being traded out of Minnesota, confirmed to ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he led a players-only meeting on Thursday, one day after returning to practice in an intense blaze of dominating, yelling at teammates and at one point telling general manager Scott Layden: "You f------ need me."
Nichols reports that the players-only meeting was Butler letting his teammates, apparently including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, that his beef has nothing to do with them and everything to do with Wolves management.
Despite Butler confirming the meeting, according to ESPN, Wolves point guard Jeff Teague says it never happened: "it wasn’t no players meeting you just made that up bro y’all gotta relax with this fake news," he said in a tweet aimed at The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Butler's issue with management has to do with his contract status. Butler confirmed to Nichols that the Wolves offered a four-year, $110 million extension that he turned down over the summer.
What Butler wanted was a shorter-term offer that would've paid him more money.
"It's accurate, but it's not even about money," Butler said in his Wednesday interview with Nichols. "It's about saying 'we need you, we want you here, we can't do this without you.'"
Butler planned to practice with the Wolves again on Thursday, but the scheduled noon session was canceled and no reason why was given. Reports Friday say Butler is not with the team in Milwaukee for Friday's final preseason game.
Meanwhile, another surreal report about Thibodeau has come to light in response to multiple reports last weekend indicated the Wolves were close to trading Butler to the Miami Heat, but a new report from ESPN's Jorge Sedano sheds light on what might've stopped the deal from happening.
Accoding to Sedano, who was speaking on ESPN radio, the Wolves were going to send Butler to Miami and get back small forward Josh Richardson, shooting guard Dion Waiters and a future, protected first-round draft pick. The deal apparently fell apart when Thibodeau called Heat boss Pat Riley and asked for more draft picks.
Sedano says Riley called Thibodeau a "mother-f-----" and hung up the phone.
Somehow, the Wolves will have to fight through this madness and play in the season opener next Wednesday, Oct. 17 at San Antonio.