Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves defeated the Thunder 104-88. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

As Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler continues to await a resolution on his trade request, he has found an ally in Paul George

Per ESPN’s Royce Young, George said he’s on Butler’s side because he has “a very valid point” about how things currently stand with the T-Wolves. 

Following an outburst directed at coaches, front-office personnel and teammates during Wednesday’s practice, Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols he was being “brutally honest” with everyone:

“Everybody’s so scared to be honest with one another. If you didn’t like the way I handled myself in practice, one of the players come up to me. Somebody say something, anybody. I’m not gonna take it as offense, it’s not personal. ‘Jimmy, you shouldn’t have done that.’ ‘Yeah, you probably right,’ and I would’ve said, ‘I ain’t hooped in I don’t know how long. I’m passionate about it. I love the game and I love to win.’ And that’s all I was out there doing. I went into practice today and I competed.”

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Thursday that Butler led a players-only meeting in which his message was making it clear he’s Minnesota’s leader and will play in games with them when the regular season begins if he’s not traded. 

George was in a similar situation with the Indiana Pacers when he told them during the 2017 offseason he planned to leave as a free agent the following year. The Pacers traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2017.

Butler’s first chance to play with his Minnesota teammates in a game will come on Oct. 17 in the regular-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs. 

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