When Jimmy Butler demanded a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, he gave them a list of his preferred trade destinations. These include the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Knicks. All three NBA teams have trade assets to engage in a blockbuster deal with the Timberwolves and the salary cap space to give Butler a max contract next summer.
However, days since his meeting with Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden, it seems like Jimmy Butler has a change of heart. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the 29-year-old small forward and his agent Bernie Lee have informed the Timberwolves’ ownership that he prefers to be traded to the Miami Heat.
“Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have informed Wolves ownership that Miami is Butler’s preferred trade destination, league sources say.”
When the Timberwolves made Jimmy Butler officially available on the trading block, Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the Heat has been aggressive in pursuit of the disgruntled superstar. Both Heat President Pat Riley and Coach Erik Spoelstra have reportedly always admired Butler because of his outstanding performance on both ends of the floor.
“The Heat was aggressively pursuing a trade for disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler on Sunday, targeting a player who has long been a favorite of the organization, according to several league sources. Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra always have admired Butler, not only because of his offensive game, but because of his competitive nature and strong defensive skills, which resulted in him being named second-team All-NBA defense four times in his career.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2018
Since the 2018 NBA offseason started, the Heat have been shopping Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, and Dion Waiters. However, they are aware that those trade assets aren’t enough to convince the Timberwolves to send Jimmy Butler to Miami. Though the Heat is reluctant to part ways with Josh Richardson, the Miami Herald revealed that they could be willing to include Justise Winslow in the trade package to acquire Butler from the Timberwolves.
With their goal to fully dominate the Eastern Conference next season, the Heat obviously needs to add more star power to their roster. The potential acquisition of Butler will strengthen the Heat’s chance of beating Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors in a best-of-seven series. If Stein’s sources are accurate, it could only be a matter of time before Jimmy Butler heads to South Beach and reunites with his close pal Dwyane Wade.