BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Jimmy Butler is happy to call Minnesota home. He's also happy if anybody wants to call him about his time in Chicago or his new team.
The Minnesota Timberwolves introduced the All-Star guard/forward in front of a packed rotunda at the Mall of America Thursday morning. Minnesota acquired Butler in a trade with Chicago on draft night, dealing the Bulls Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 overall pick.
The move reunites Butler with Tom Thibodeau, who coached Butler in Chicago for four seasons.
The deal didn't sit well with some, despite his message to Chicago.
"My phone's in my back pocket right now. Whoever has anything to say to me, feel free," he said.
Butler proceeded to give out his cell phone number. For those wondering, when you call the number, his voicemail message says, "You got any beef, definitely leave a message." However, it also states -- not shockingly -- that his mailbox is full.
"Chicago gave me an opportunity to play. They took a chance on me," Butler added. "But I'm here now, I'm ready to start a new chapter -- a new era."
"He's chased excellence since his first day in the league," said Thibodeau. "He's a great person, a great leader and we're thrilled to have him. You don't often have the opportunity to add a player like Jimmy Butler."
"Toughness, hard work, leadership. That's something that's really going to help our franchise," said General Manager Scott Layden on Butler. "He's an unselfish player on both sides of the court."
Butler, 27, owns career averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He's also a three-time all-star and three-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
"The city of Minneapolis and the state as a whole has been so welcoming since I got here Sunday," Butler said. "Y'all are definitely my people and I look forward to my future here."
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