Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler practiced with the team on Sunday and is expected to play in Wednesday’s season opener in San Antonio, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.
“Yes,” Thibodeau replied when asked if the four-time All-Star would play against the Spurs.
Butler missed most of training camp and the preseason after requesting a trade earlier this summer.
“At the end of the day, I just wanna go out there and win basketball games,” Butler said Sunday, per the team’s Twitter account.
He returned last week for a heated practice in which he reportedly called out teammates, coaches and front office personnel. “You can’t win without me,” he told general manager Scott Layden, according to ESPN reports.
Asked if he’s expecting fans to react negatively toward him, Butler didn’t shy away.
“Sure,” he said. “Go ahead, boo me. It ain’t going to change the way I play. That’s going to make me smile more. So please, come on with it.”
The Timberwolves were reportedly close to a deal with the Miami Heat last week, but the negotiations have broken down, according to multiple reports. ESPN reported earlier this week the Heat intend to make another effort.
Butler joined Minnesota last season after six seasons with the Chicago Bulls. In 59 games, he averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game.