Monday, January 30, 2017

Change of Plans: Avoid Jimmy Butler

Last week, when discussing the latest Ricky Rubio trade rumors, I mentioned how I wanted to see the Timberwolves make a serious run at acquiring Jimmy Butler. I still maintain that he is and will always be a better player than Andrew Wiggins, but I no longer think Butler would be a good acquisition for this young, impressionable Timberwolves team.

The Wolves are very clearly Karl-Anthony Towns team. He's their best player and he wants to be the leader, so until he shows he can't be a leader, this is Towns' team without a doubt. Watching Jimmy Butler criticize his less-talented teammates along with serial cheater Dwyane Wade last week was a lesson in pure stupidity and how to avoid it.



Somehow, Rajon Rondo came out looking like the team leader in all of this, despite being relegated to limited minutes and widely being regarded as a difficult player to have around. He sent out an Instagram post blaming the leaders (Dwyane and Jimmy) and saying that the vets in Boston never would have gone to the media the way those two did. Shots. Fired.

Butler and Wade made it clear that they felt their teammates needed to care more, which is silly in itself because people show their anger or disappointment in different ways. Here are some exact quotes:
"I'm 35 years old, man. I have three (NBA) championships. It shouldn't hurt me more than it hurts them. They have to want it." -D Wade
Okay, first off, aging players always care more than young players. Why? Because they realize their career is nearing it's end, and there chances to win are dwindling. A young player almost always just thinks, oh well, there's always next year. And having won 3 championships, Wade wants that euphoria once more. He lives for it. Other players have never experienced it, so as badly as they want to win, they don't know exactly what they're looking forward to.

Second, of course they want it. Nobody is going out there and hoping to lose. Just because your teammates don't show the same kind of emotions you do doesn't mean they don't "want it." Him and Pat Riley should've stuck together, they could've continued to be douchebags together.
"If you're not (mad) after you lose every game, something's wrong," he said. "This is your job. This is supposed to be what you love to do. Not everybody looks at it this way. I want to play with guys who care and play hard and want to do well for this organization, that want to win games." -Jimmy Butler
No, Jimmy. Not every game is created equal. Nobody should accept losing, but no team is going to go 82-0, so losses need to be accepted. Harping on one bad loss is how you end up with two of your best players complaining about the rest of the team like spoiled children.

A Wolves team that clearly really enjoys having Andrew Wiggins around would potentially rebel against the front office and coaching staff if they brought in Jimmy Butler and the team didn't improve as much as expected.

Butler is a great player with a bright future, but a year after ripping Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg in the media and getting chastized for it, you'd think he'd have learned his lesson. He needs to be careful when trusting someone like Dwyane Wade, who's advice is clearly self-serving. Wade wants to win before he retires, and he doesn't seem to care if it torpedoes Butler's Chicago ties.

I would be shocked if either player is a member of the Bulls following June's NBA draft, and despite their talent, I think most of the young Bulls and certainly Fred Hoiberg would welcome that change. Things are getting messy in Chicago. Here's to hoping our Timberwolves avoid the trash.