Jimmy Butler Watch: Trade Talks Heat Up With Miami, Houston

Minnesota has started to engage teams in trade talks, and reports say, the T-Wolves have talked with the LA Clippers, the Nets, Miami, Cleveland, Houston and a number of teams around the league with an interest in Jimmy Butler

Miami has been the most aggressive according to reports.

Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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.

Houston is also in the mix, which is a scary thought. 

Brandon Robinson on Twitter

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jimmy Butler, package is involving Eric Gordon and some fillers, I’m told. Not a done deal but that’s what they’re prepared to offer. #timberwolves #jimmybutlers

Butler asked for a trade last week and T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor wants to get the situation moving. Tom Thibodeau would rather try to keep Butler and play the season out but Minnesota wants to avoid getting left for dead and want to accommodate the trade.  

Butler told Minnesota back in February that he wouldnt be resigning with them in the summer. 

Since Tom Thibodeau took over, despite getting to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years in 2017, there’s been issues within the locker room between Butler and young stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. That simmering bad blood spilled into an embarrassing Twitter Brawl between Wiggins and Family, Stephen Jackson and Butler.

Theres also reported conflict between the front office concerning the basketball and business side of things. There are various levels of dysfunction in the organization. Just a year after Thibodeau gave up three first-round picks to bring Butler in and build the team around him, Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins, Butler wants to boogie. 

Get Up on Twitter

@stephenasmith weighs in on Jimmy Butler’s desire to be traded away from Minnesota. https://t.co/Diav4hxz1B

Years ago, Butler would have to stay and work it out. Players were often stuck in their situations and if a franchise didnt have a championship game plan, a star players legacy suffered in the process. 

Not anymore. If a star doesnt like his situation, hes just going to force a trade or threaten to bounce at the end of his contract. 

We saw Kyrie do it. We saw Chris Paul do it.  We watched Kawhi Leonard bust loose from the Spurs. Now Jimmy Butler is the latest superstar to abandon his team, demand a trade and present a wishlist of destinations in the process. 

In this new dirty, but business savvy NBA,  players have begun implementing this form of pre-agency as NBA analyst Jalen Rose calls it. Players force a teams hand by demanding a trade and informing them that they wont be resigning. Rather than lose a superstar in free agency and get nothing in return, a team is forced to make a trade and take whatever scraps they can get.

Minnesota has already committed more than $300 million to KAT and Wiggins.

In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, KAT  agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension over the weekend.

NBA on TNT on Twitter

Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a 5-year, $190 million super-maximum extension with the Timberwolves (Via @wojespn)

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has chosen his sides on the beef. Despite their defensive deficiencies and lack of passion, Taylor wants to roll with the young talent and get Butler out the door as quickly as possible. The front office still seems to be holding on to the possibility of Butler returning, but his departure seems imminent.

Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

Story filed to ESPN: As Minnesota’s front office tells inquiring rivals that team has no plans to trade Jimmy Butler, owner Glen Taylor had a different message at NBA’s Board of Governors meetings: Butler is available and owners/GM’s should contact Taylor himself if necessary.


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