Thibodeau had this to say about Butler's comments on Towns and Wiggins: "To me, like they're young guys improving, this is a team sport".
"As to what has been reported in the past 24 hours, I have too much respect for Tom Thibodeau and all that he's accomplished in this league", Riley said in a tweet posted on Friday by the Miami Heat's official account. But you can't get embarrassed.
Thibodeau and players alike harped on the need for consistent effort, regardless of the cloud that's hovering over the team, as it figures out the Butler situation. "I'm 'Sota for life". "He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him".
Although the Heat isn't projected to have cap space until the 2020 offseason, any team that trades for Butler will also acquire his Bird rights.
One person who can relate to this sort of awkward situation is Paul George, who once told a team he wanted out before getting shipped somewhere other than where he wanted to go.
The saga with the four-time All-Star started in mid-September, when it became known that Butler told Thibodeau that he wanted a trade after a season in which he was Minnesota's leading scorer and helped the Wolves snap a 14-year playoff drought.
Butler's orchestrated in-practice meltdown was reported by ESPN on Wednesday afternoon. He will be a free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Asked if he was pleased with the practice, Thibodeau said: "You're never pleased with practice".