Report: Miami, Minnesota got close to Jimmy Butler trade but it fell apart again
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Minnesota and Miami were pushing hard and progressing toward a trade that would have sent Jimmy Butler to Miami, but the Timberwolves moved the goalposts at the last minute and the deal fell apart. From Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend – only to see trade fall apart. Minnesota shared Butler’s medical info with Miami, owners were involved and sides prepared to finalize. Minnesota pushed for more, talks fractured.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018
Those talks can always start again, but Minnesota has little else, if anything, going in the marketplace. Teams had backed away because of price and belief Minny would get deal w/ Miami. Sources say owner Glen Taylor's mandate stands to his front office: Find a deal for Butler. https://t.co/LIXQwXPKkl— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018
Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Minnesota and Miami have seriously discussed several frameworks of a potential deal for Jimmy Butler, including ones with Heat's Josh Richardson. Medicals shared both ways. Timberwolves do not appear any closer a deal.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 7, 2018
The process of sharing medical/insurance information is equal to getting to the 5 yard line. Rarely does a deal fall apart when teams get this far.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 7, 2018
Minnesota's approaching 3 weeks since Butler's trade request and most of league's dubious about Minny's sincerity in making a deal. Thibodeau's wanted to get Butler back on floor and tried to buy time. Will Glen Taylor allow him to play that out? Owner is still pushing for trade. https://t.co/eSQ9adhSnw— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018
While the Clippers, Rockets, and others have hung around the fringes, I have heard from sources as well that Miami was the only likely destination in the short term. The Heat have no cap space to sign Butler as a free agent (unlike the Clippers next summer) so there is an urgency to their efforts. However, while Butler continues to sit out training camp, other teams feel the asking price for a potential Butler rental is too high and Butler is frustrated with that. While Tom Thibodeau may be holding out for the player he wants, the demand for quality players (young and veterans) plus cap relief has been too steep for teams. There remains a sense around the league what Thibodeau really wants is to get Butler into camp and playing with the team again, not trade him.
The fact owners were involved makes it feel like a deal could get done, but at some point Miami may be willing to walk away from the table for a while.