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Minnesota’s Success Rides or Dies with Butler

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To say the Timberwolves’ offseason has been tumultuous would be an understatement. Jimmy Butler has been outspoken about his teammates over the past few weeks and hasn’t shown any signs of stopping as we draw closer and closer to the beginning of the season. Butler sent NBA Twitter into a frenzy during last weeks practice on Friday.  It was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Butler yelled to Timberwolves’ GM Scott Layden “You [bleeping] need me. You cant win without me.” Well, is he wrong? Look, Jimmy Butler hasn’t actually won anything… but the man is still a top tier two-way player and without a doubt the best player on the Timberwolves roster.

Not only does Butler talk the talk, but he also walks the walk. ESPN’s Amin Elhassan reported that Butler took the Timberwolves 3rd string roster and beat the starters in Wednesday’s practice to add insult to injury. So that leads us to this question, is Jimmy wrong? While his methods may be questionable, he could be the leader this young and promising team needs. Butler played a big part in the Timberwolves’ success last year in the post season where he averaged 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per contest. Butler sat down with The Jump’s Rachel Nichols to tell his side of the story.

As we draw closer to the start of the season, it seems highly unlikely that Butler will be dealt. Butler’s main gripe with his teammates was there nonchalant attitude and that he was the hardest working guy in that locker room. Karl-Anthony Towns is only 22 years old, and despite his defensive struggles at times, let’s cut him some slack due to his age and potential. However, the mystery of Andrew Wiggins cannot go unaccounted for. After being highly praised in college and selected #1 overall in 2014 NBA Draft, Wiggins has been lackluster to say the least. If Wiggins can learn from his veteran leader in Butler, he will without a doubt be a much better defender and will hopefully continue to work on his shot during as the season progresses.

As mentioned above, Butler’s leadership tactics may be questionable, but this type of “tough love” attitude we hardly see in today’s PC environment may just light the fire under this promising Timberwolves team.

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About Darrien Null

Hometown: Strasburg, PA. Contributor for Sixers Lead. Twitter: @DNull95

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