The Miami Heat were one of the NBA teams who expressed strong interest in trading for Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Jimmy Butler. When he demanded a trade from the Timberwolves, Butler named the Heat as one of his preferred trade destinations — leading many people to believe that he would start the 2018-19 NBA season as Dwyane Wade’s teammate.
Days before the 2018-19 NBA season officially started, several reports claimed that the Heat and the Timberwolves had entered into an advance trade negotiation involving Jimmy Butler. Most recently, however, Heat President Pat Riley informed their players that they are “pulling the plug” on the Butler trade, according to a Twitter post made by Shandel Richardson of The Athletic. Gery Woelfel of Woelfelspressbox.com revealed via Twitter that the Timberwolves had declined to trade Butler to the Heat in exchange for an offered package including Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, and a protected first-round pick.
As of now, it seems like the Timberwolves are still sticking with their initial asking price for Jimmy Butler. However, if they will not lower their ask, it remains questionable if there will be a team willing to give up additional trade assets for a player who could possibly be a one-year rental. Still, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that Butler’s departure from Minnesota is inevitable.
“At last check, Jimmy Butler’s trade talks had quieted, and he looked no closer to breaking free from the Minnesota Timberwolves than when he initially requested a trade more than a month ago. That side of the story hasn’t changed. But as long as Butler remains employed in the Gopher State, this situation will be worth watching for his inevitable exit. While Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau won’t want to hear this, it seems the only certainty regarding Butler’s future is that it won’t be with Minnesota.”
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) October 22, 2018
Despite efforts from Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau to convince him to stay, Jimmy Butler seems determined to part ways with his current team. If they decide to keep him, Butler said that he will still leave in the 2019 NBA offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. As most people think, trading him before the February NBA trade deadline will be the Timberwolves’ best option — much better than losing him in the 2019 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.
Before the start of the season, Jimmy Butler had reached an agreement with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. While they continue to find him a new home, Taylor urged Butler to be a good teammate and to play as hard as he always does. So far, Butler has been very impressive on both ends of the floor. In his first two games in the 2018-19 NBA season, the 29-year-old small forward averaged 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks on 54.3 percent shooting from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.