Wolves' Butler opts for rest over All-Star action

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 20 2018 09:45 AM

Jimmy Butler of Team Stephen arrives before the game against Team Lebron during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Bruce Yeung, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Jimmy Butler, the only active player who did not appear in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, sat at his own request.

The Minnesota Timberwolves swingman never got off the bench for Team Stephen, which lost 145-142 to Team LeBron at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Asked to explain why he didn't play, Butler said, according to NBC Sports, "Rest. I have to rest. I have to rest my body up. This Timberwolves season is very, very important to me. I've got to make sure I'm ready to roll when I get back there."

Butler leads the league in minutes per game, 37.3, just ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, who are both averaging 37.0 minutes.

Last Thursday, in the Timberwolves' home win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Butler scored 24 points in 41 minutes. Minnesota won't return to action following the All-Star break until a Friday game at Houston.

In his first season with the Timberwolves, Butler is averaging 22.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 55 games. He missed two games in October due to an illness, and he sat out four games in late January because of a sore right knee.

Butler, 28, spent his first six NBA seasons with the Bulls after Chicago made him a first-round pick (No. 30 overall) in 2011 out of Marquette. He was dealt to Minnesota on draft night last year along with the 16th overall pick (Justin Patton) in exchange for the seventh overall pick (Lauri Markkanen) as well as Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.

In 454 career NBA games (349 starts), Butler is averaging 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

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