The Jimmy Butler sweepstakes is heating up, with a new NBA rumor pointing to the Miami Heat as a potential destination for the unhappy superstar.
This week, Butler told the Minnesota Timberwolves that he wanted a trade out of town, and there are reportedly a handful of teams hoping to pursue him. Among that group, the Heat have been one of the most aggressive, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted.
While it is not clear exactly what the Heat might be offering, they could have time on their side, Woj hinted. He noted that the Timberwolves front office wants a trade completed by early this coming week, so the Heat’s aggression in pursuing Butler may be rewarded.
The urgency on the part of the Timberwolves seems to be a change of pace from just a few days ago. As ESPN had previously reported, coach and director of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau had pushed back against a deal, but was overruled by owner Glen Taylor who mandated that a deal needed to be completed.
“Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves’ uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise,” the report noted. “Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the Wolves should part ways with the four-time All-Star, sources said.”
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) September 20, 2018
Other reports had noted that Thibodeau was very reluctant to part ways with Butler and move into a rebuild, especially after the team just reached a new deal with Karl Anthony-Towns as a centerpiece for a team hoping to be a title contender within a few years.
So far, Pat Riley and Miami have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2018
With the rumors pointing to the Heat, the Miami Herald explored exactly what it might take for Butler to bring his talents to South Beach. The report noted that the Heat have been reluctant to discuss Josh Richardson or Bam Adebayo in any potential trades, but the Heat could be willing to part with Richardson if it meant landing Butler. The Miami Heat could also be willing to part with Justise Winslow, who will become a restricted free agent next year.
The Heat are not the only NBA team rumored to be making a hard push for Jimmy Butler. Wojnarowski reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have also been in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about landing the NBA All-Star.