Jimmy Butler didn't play Sunday night and neither did Jeff Teague nor Derrick Rose and the Wolves wound up getting smoked by the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-81.
Butler sat out for what the Wolves described as "precautionary rest," leading to more speculation that he's keeping himself out of games in an effort to rush Minnesota into trading him, all the while saying he's nicked up and is being calculated with when he plays to avoid turning general soreness early in the season into a bigger injury.
Butler did not play in last Wednesday's game against Utah but did suit up in Minnesota's Friday night loss to the Warriors. He said after that game that he wasn't sure he'd play in both of the Wolves' games Sunday and Monday, so it's expected he will be in the lineup for Monday night's Wolves-Clippers game in Los Angeles.
Butler is not dealing with an injury to note, so he's simply choosing to sit out. What might bother Wolves fans the most is that Butler has elected to sit out games against divisional opponents, Utah and Portland, while playing in non-divisional games against the Warriors, and presumably, the Clippers.
Without Butler, Teague and Rose the Wolves started Tyus Jones at point guard and rookie Josh Okogie at shooting guard.
The result was a lopsided loss that had the Wolves waiving the white flag in the third quarter, as Karl-Anthony Towns was already sitting on the bench with his knees wrapped in ice, a clear sign that his night was over.