Jimmy Butler’s longtime teammate likens trade demand to ‘right hook’
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson has known Jimmy Butler for a very long time, and even he was surprised by his teammate’s trade demand.
Gibson and Butler are close, having first played together in 2011 with the Chicago Bulls and eventually reuniting on the Timberwolves. Gibson admitted that he understood the NBA is a business, but was admittedly taken aback by Butler’s trade demand.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to look at it from a player’s standpoint and a business standpoint,” Gibson told ESPN’s Nick Friedell on Friday. “He’s trying to do what he got to do, but everybody’s calling him. It’s more of a [situation where] I’ve got to go see him kind of thing. But I worked out with him all summer, so when I said what I meant, it was like a right hook. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know. I thought — it looked like from everything things were going good. But sometimes it’s a money aspect, and fans and different players got to understand that. I understand that with being in the league for so many years, but got to try to just see what we can do.”
Butler is absent from Timberwolves camp as the team seeks a trade, though they may have to ease up on their demands a bit to do it. However this ends, it doesn’t sound like Butler’s teammates knew it was coming.