As the standoff reaches a week old, one thing is becomi…

More on Jimmy Butler Trade?

Through it all, Butler has been adamant that nothing has changed or will change in his approach. He wants out today and will want out tomorrow and the day after that, sources told The Athletic. “We’re not going to be pressured into a bad deal,” Thibodeau said on Monday in his first public comments since the trade request was made.
Zach Lowe: Pitched in on this @Adrian Wojnarowski Wolves/Butler report late last night -- I can't remember teams trying to engage in trade talks being this confused/frustrated with the team trading the main player in question: espn.com/nba/story/_/id…
It’s easy to understand why he would welcome superstar Jimmy Butler with open arms. He’s a good guy who wants to win. It’s in his DNA, Hollis-Jefferson believes. But there’s also been a lot about how he doesn’t get along with young players, has coach issues. “If he [Jimmy Butler] comes, we’d love to have him. If not, we’ll just keep working and doing what we do best,” Hollis-Jefferson said of the Butler at Media Day.
To facilitate a Butler trade, the sort of broader deal necessary to meet the financial needs of Minnesota and Butler's future team, circumstances will necessitate bringing the Sacramento Kings into the process. If the Timberwolves remain intent on unloading backup center Gorgui Dieng and the three years, $48 million left on his contract, they'll need the Kings. No one in the NBA comes close to the $11 million in salary cap space that the Kings possess to absorb a contract, as well as the several expiring contracts -- including Zach Randolph ($11.6 million), Iman Shumpert ($11 million) and Kosta Koufos ($8.7 million) -- to move onto a team that prefers to clear cap space in July.
In recent days, Sacramento has been aggressive in courting Minnesota and several of Butler's trade suitors -- offering to use its space as a landing spot for bloated contracts. The Kings are without their first-round draft pick in 2019, and uniquely positioned to leverage that cap space into, at a minimum, a future first-round pick and maybe more as part of a Butler blockbuster. The Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers and Miami Heat all have contracts that they'd love to unload, and a Butler deal could mean that they deliver Sacramento a pick and cash to take on a veteran player.
Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, who is the point man for trade conversations, continue to leave rival executives and owners unclear about both the specific players and broader kinds of assets that the Wolves value in a deal, sources said. Even more doubt exists about whether there's even yet alignment between Taylor and Thibodeau on a structure and a timetable for a deal, league sources told ESPN.
That was directed at the rest of the league as a bargaining ploy for the kind of offers the Wolves are hoping to make for Butler. Along those lines, Tom Thibodeau, the coach and president of basketball operations, said the Wolves are open for business, but they aren’t going to sell Butler until the offer is right. “We’re not going to make a bad deal,” Thibodeau said. “If it’s a good deal, we’re interested. [Owner] Glen [Taylor], Scott, myself I think we’ve made that clear to everyone. I think Jimmy understands and the team understands. But you have to take the team first.”
Word circulated around the NBA over the weekend that Brooklyn could get Butler in exchange for D’Angelo Russell (a close friend of Karl Anthony-Towns), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and another player or two whose salaries would make the deal work under NBA rules. But there was conflicting information coming in to GetMoreSports about the accuracy of that chatter. Butler rumors have been whirling since Friday when he told management he wanted to be dealt, and teams outside of New York, Los Angeles and Miami were being cautious, knowing that Butler could end up being a one-season rental since he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Among the players that make the most sense for matching salary with Butler is J.R. Smith, who is set to make $14.7 million this year with his 2019-20 contract only partially guaranteed. However, Smith isn’t too keen on the idea of going to Minnesota, as he recently told the group of guys with whom he was playing NBA 2K19 as they were getting ready for a game. “They trying to do a trade for Jimmy Butler? I ain’t going to Minnesota,” Smith says. “They can cancel my ticket for that. They can cancel Christmas for that. I ain’t going to no damn Minnesota. They better make it a three-way trade or something.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Minnesota Timberwolves President/Coach Tom Thibodeau met with All-Star forward Jimmy Butler on Monday and tried to convince him to eventually rejoin the team in the preseason, league sources tell ESPN. Butler is sitting out, awaiting the organization to honor his trade request.
Darren Wolfson: Just had heard again this morning that Miami is reluctant to move Richardson. But offering him might be their only path. So we'll see.

https://twitter.com/Mason_Long2/status/1044364715831496704
Darren Wolfson: Interesting day that isn't close to being over. Have a few min. to post videos. Here's Thibs/Layden on Butler trade request. See @ Jon Krawczynski saying to not sleep on Nets, LAC, Philly, which I have heard. Heard Kings today too. Heat still pushing.
John Meyer: Taj Gibson says all of this Jimmy Butler stuff really is distracting and it’s a weird feeling right before training camp. He also said Butler gave him a big hug after his physical today and he understands the NBA is a business.
Christopher Hine: Gibson on if Butler's trade talks are a distraction: "It is. It really is. You look at the talent and the strides we took last year just to get to the playoffs, so many up and downs and you get hit with a right hook before training camp, it's weird."
Christopher Hine: Taj Gibson said he was in "shock" when he heard about Butler's trade request. Said he had spoken with Butler right before it happened (but they didn't discuss basketball issues. They talked about Butler's birthday).
Christopher Hine: Luol Deng was thinking he would be coming here and getting to play with Jimmy Butler. "Every time I thought about how it would be or how it would go he was in my thoughts."
Dane Moore: "Whenever I thought about how it was going to be or how it was going to go, Jimmy was always in my thoughts. So, yes, I'm surprised." -- Luol Deng on Jimmy Butler's trade request.
John Meyer: Derrick Rose was asked about his feelings when he heard Jimmy Butler requested a trade. “I wish him nothing but happiness.” Rose says he thought the chemistry was good last season for the most part.
Right now, there’s no reason for any of the places Butler reportedly wants to go to give up picks or young players as part of a package for him. (Sources indicated over the weekend that the Knicks, supposedly one of those teams, haven’t made any inquiries about the 29 year old.) The Nets and Clippers, the two other teams reportedly on his short list, will have room for at least one -- and, most likely, two -- max free agents in the Summer of 2019. Each can just wait for Butler to opt out of his final year and become an unrestricted free agent, at which they can offer him a four-year max deal.
League sources maintain the Wolves will hold out for at least one first-round pick as part of a package for Butler, and will also want some young vets who can grow with Towns, Wiggins and Jeff Teague, whom Thibodeau pushed hard for last summer to take over for Ricky Rubio at the point, going forward. And Miami, rumored on Sunday to be making a push for Butler, can trade its 2019 first-round pick after officially moving its 2018 first to Phoenix as part of the Goran Dragic trade. (The Heat would not violate the Stepien Rule prohibiting the trade of successive first-round picks in Drafts by trading its 2019 first.) Pat Riley is always in acquisition mode, and would certainly be willing to gamble if he could convince Butler to be the next great franchise player on South Beach within a year.
Wolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden have been resistant to the idea of trading Butler while owner Glen Taylor has told them to bring deals to him to review, league sources said. Whether that is a negotiating strategy or just a flat-out disagreement about one of the team’s two most important players, the mixed messages has created a volatile environment around the franchise.
Nets Daily: Nets NOT negotiating with Timberwolves, reports @GregLogan1. If Timberwolves plan on making a deal by Tuesday, they could engage with Nets but doesn’t sound like this is a Nets priority.
Greg Logan: So he said, but @BrooklynNets not talking yet. Have to believe it would be tough for #Nets to give up assets & sign Butler to 5-year deal worth $190 million. He's good, but is he THAT good? If think you can get #KyrieIrving with him, that's different deal. Irving is THAT GOOD.
According to multiple league sources, coach Tom Thibodeau has no intention of letting Butler go for young, rebuilding-type pieces. Thibodeau, hotly pursued as a coaching free agent after leaving Chicago in 2015, went to Minnesota because he thought the team would be ready to contend quickly.

https://twitter.com/JoseGonpacer14/status/1044000095014973440
Just days before Tuesday’s start of training camp, the Miami Heat find itself in the middle of trade speculation. The Heat was aggressively pursuing a 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.
The Heat has told teams this offseason that Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Dion Waiters are available, according to two opposing front office executives who have spoken to the Heat. But the Heat knows a different combination of more attractive players will be needed to pry away Butler, who averaged 22.2 points per game for Minnesota last season.
The Heat has been very reluctant this offseason to part with Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo, and it’s unclear if Miami would be willing to include Richardson in a deal for Butler. (Miami’s preference would be not to include Richardson.) Miami also prefers to keep Kelly Olynyk. But Justise Winslow could be put in play because of questions about whether the Heat will keep him if he enters restricted free agency next summer.
Tim Bontemps: In talking to people around the league today, Miami has come up as a popular landing spot for Jimmy Butler. Regardless, expectation is Minnesota’s preference is to move him East, if at all possible, to help Wolves’ playoff chances.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Another team pursuing a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota: Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was seen talking privately with Glen Taylor at NBA Board of Governors meeting on Friday. Both owners played a part in negotiating the Love-Wiggins deal.
Jon Johnson: Per NBA source, the Sixers have put in a call about Jimmy Butler. Nothing more than an inquiry at the moment.
Jeff Zillgitt: Hearing that Jimmy Butler's interest in Knicks was overstated. His main goal is to win sooner rather than later.
Jeff Zilgitt: My understanding is that there are other teams beyond those original three that Butler wants to play and perhaps sign a long-term deal with. @Adrian Wojnarowski's latest has some of those teams. I'd add Washington and Milwaukee as outliers.
Darren Wolfson: One team two rival execs say not to sleep on in the Butler sweepstakes: Milwaukee. Marquette ties, new arena, can win in the East. Rival teams also expect today to be very busy after trade overtures yesterday were rejected. Taylor determined to find a workable trade. #Twolves
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN. 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.
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 four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Now Towns will have to follow his bold words with bold action. With his contract out of the way, the Timberwolves have shifted their focus, a source said, to finding a trade partner for Butler, who has been agitating to get out throughout the summer. The expectation from Taylor is that a deal will be done so the Timberwolves can avoid bringing Butler to training camp, which begins on Tuesday.
So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. The list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami and Philadelphia are among the teams interested in probing for deals.
They wanted direction on how to proceed with Butler, and Taylor told them: Butler is available in trade talks, and I want it done sooner than later, sources said. "The owner's trading him," one Board of Governors source told ESPN. "That was made clear. It's just a matter of when." "He basically said, 'If you don't get anywhere with [Layden], and you've got something good, bring it to me," another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
In any circumstance, Butler wants a trade to a team that plans to sign him to a five-year, maximum contract that could be worth $190 million in the summer, and his list could expand based upon the Timberwolves' and rival teams' willingness to negotiate a trade for him, league sources said.
The Knicks have maintained both publicly and privately that they will remain patient in their pursuit of stars — a change from experience — and will not trade first round picks. The Nets seem unlikely to move on from any picks, as well, after they finally emerged from the hole they created by trading the rights to five straight first round picks earlier this decade.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoDmk7PBO8s/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=cj0ozgp2lmh7
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has made it clear to President/Coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden that Jimmy Butler's on the trade block and Taylor wants the front office moving to find a deal. Taylor is pushing for a fast resolution.
Team owner Glen Taylor has engaged in discussions with teams about a possible trade, but those teams have been rebuffed by Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden when contacted directly, a bizarre dynamic that has several executives around the league scratching their heads. Given the chaotic nature of the situation, Butler sought and has been granted permission not to appear at the team’s media day on Monday, when every player on the roster answers questions from the media and poses for photos with teammates.
Players on the team have been searching for answers, but Thibodeau has held firm to this point, sources said. Teams continue to reach out to the Wolves to gauge their interest and begin trade talks, only to be told that Butler is not available. If this is some kind of renegade negotiating strategy aimed at causing confusion and muddying the waters, it’s working. Members of other front offices don’t know whom to contact or what to believe. But nearly all of them expect Taylor to eventually shepherd a deal to the finish line.
One league source pushed back at the notion that Thibodeau would flat-out refuse to trade Butler, telling the Star Tribune that Thibodeau would be willing to make a deal if he thinks the deal is fair.
As the Minnesota Timberwolves front office tells inquiring rivals that the franchise has no plans to trade All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, owner Glen Taylor had a different message for owners and executives at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings: Butler is available, and prospective suitors should contact Taylor himself should they struggle to make progress with GM Scott Layden, sources told ESPN.
"The owner's trading him," one Board of Governors attendee told ESPN on Friday. "That was made clear. It's just a matter of when." "He basically said, 'If you don't get anywhere with [Layden], and you've got something good, bring it to me," another high-ranking league official told ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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.
With less than one week to go before media day on Sept. 24, Thibodeau was summoned to California for a meeting with Butler. He was planning on asking to be traded, but in the days leading up to the meeting several wondered if he would stick to his stance or soften it when Thibodeau charted his vision for the upcoming season. As Thibodeau laid out his plans, Butler told his coach that he wanted to be elsewhere. Thibodeau resisted, saying he couldn’t trade him because he wanted to make another playoff run this year. But Butler held firm.
Thibodeau has rebuffed trade calls to this point, even of the informal “what would it take?” variety that several teams have started to initiate, sources said. His hold on both positions in the organization hasn’t been strong for quite some time and it’s well known throughout the franchise that his relationship with Taylor got off to a bit of a rocky start. By all accounts, Thibodeau has been much more accessible and engaging with Taylor, and many in the organization, this summer. He has been working to establish relationships that he simply ignored in his first two seasons on the job, knowing full well that Year 3 could be considered make or break for the Thibodeau-Layden pairing.
This is Jimmy Butler. Thibs’ hand-picked pride and joy. The one who pledged to have his back through thick and thin and drag this woebegone franchise out of the dank cellar and into the spotlight. Now he wants out. And there remains a real possibility that he will not report to training camp next week if a trade has not been consummated, sources said.
The Wolves would like to dump Gorgui Dieng in any Butler deal, league sources say. Dieng is a backup set to earn $48 million over the next three seasons.
The Bucks placed a courtesy "keep us in the loop" call with Minnesota, sources say, and a package built around Khris Middleton (also set to be a free agent) and one future asset -- a pick, Thon Maker, something -- makes some sense.
The initial trade market for Jimmy Butler is confused and cool, league sources say, as teams contemplate their appetite for risk and wonder whether the Timberwolves can coalesce around trade talks -- or whether Tom Thibodeau's reported desire to keep Butler at all costs wins the day.
Butler is 29, with Tom Thibodeau miles and recent knee issues. A lot of teams would be queasy agreeing to pay him $40-plus million as he approaches age 35. That has dampened the early market, though teams are surely posturing to at least some degree -- just as the Wolves might be in rebuffing initial calls, per Wojnarowski on Friday.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has become fully engaged in the decision-making process on a potential Butler trade and is far more open to the idea of orchestrating a deal than president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden, league sources said.
Opposing teams believe the fastest avenue to a Butler deal is engaging Taylor, league sources said. Taylor is attending the NBA's Board of Governors meetings today in New York, which include owners and top basketball executives.
According to the source, this is about a philosophy in making an impact in the Western Conference, and in Butler’s mind you can’t run down a dynasty like Golden State when two of the so-called dogs in the pack are in fact kittens. Memo to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins – meow. Meanwhile, who could have ever guessed that Bulls general manager Gar Forman suddenly looks like a big-boy basketball executive?
In the aftermath of Butler's trade request this week, Minnesota executives are telling teams that Butler's an elite player and that the franchise intends to keep him, league sources said. Often that's an opening message that's followed with a query on what a prospective trade partner might offer in a hypothetical deal, but that hasn't been the case in the Timberwolves dialogue with teams late this week, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Story filed to ESPN: Rival executives lobbing calls to Minnesota’s front office on possibility of trading for Jimmy Butler are getting inquires shut down. Minnesota is telling teams that Butler’s an elite player and franchise intends to keep him.
Towns reportedly won’t sign his rookie-scale extension until Minnesota handles the Butler situation, and the standoff apparently isn’t at all over haggling about contract terms, particularly what would happen if Towns qualifies next season for the super-max. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN: They’re offering him as much money as they can. I’m led to believe that a big reason why he hasn’t signed it is that he – through his agent, Leon Rose – went to the Wolves and said, “Hey, I can’t coexist with Jimmy. Do something about it.” So, Figure out the Jimmy situation. On top of that – whether it’s right or wrong, this is the way he feels – that it’s been Jimmy and Thibs ganging up on him.
But multiple league sources told SNY.tv that Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota's President and head coach, will want more than the Knicks can realistically offer. "Not enough for Minny," one NBA executive said. "Tibs wants to win now."
"I think Jimmy does not see a future in Minny and is not real excited to finish his career playing alongside KAT and Wiggins," the NBA executive said. "It's all about Jimmy," the executive added. "He is looking to get paid and to be the man."
New coach David Fizdale seemed on board with not making any big splash before free agency. “We want to build it from the ground up culturally, through the draft, like Steve is talking about. We don’t want to jump at the shiny things,” Fizdale said. “We want to make solid decisions and be patient with this process. I’m a big part of that process. If I get rattled or start trying to nudge these guys, I’m too big a chunk to be disrupting this process. I’m locked into developing these kids and pouring in everything that I have into that right now.”
According to multiple league sources, coach Tom Thibodeau has no intention of letting Butler go for young, rebuilding-type pieces. Thibodeau, hotly pursued as a coaching free agent after leaving Chicago in 2015, went to Minnesota because he thought the team would be ready to contend quickly.
Butler, acquired last summer in a trade with the Bulls, had become part of that thought process. Thibodeau has zero interest in taking a step back with Minnesota, even, according to sources, if it means he ultimately parts ways with the team. "No one expects Tom to coach a 25-win or even 35-win team," one front-office executive told Sporting News. "Even if he has to agree to dissolve the contract, they’d do that before they go and trade Butler for draft picks."
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Trade?
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August 5, 2021 | 2:12 am EDT Update
The Sixers could also bring him back and try again if they can’t get a Lillard or a Beal at the moment, but it also appears that maybe Simmons doesn’t want to come back. Per Ramona Shelburne on ESPN’s The Jump: The Sixers are open to bringing him back. In a lot of ways, I think they would prefer that. I think they would prefer to say we don’t want totrade this guy who can win the Defensive Player of the Year, who is a young superstar in the making. Just come back and let’s let’s work on this, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a bridge there that is being walked across by both sides like that. I don’t know if Ben Simmons has that interest right now because things were said afterwards. After the season, Doc Rivers said some things, Joel Embiid said some things. I know there’s been trying to smoothing out of that relationship, but it doesn’t seem like Ben is necessarily interested in that right now.
One of those swings apparently was for Chris Paul — and that gave CP3 the leverage to get a fourth year out of the Suns, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on the “Hoop Collective” podcast (hat tip CBS Sports). “Chris Paul, who [New Orleans] offered $100 million from what I understand. It helped convince Phoenix to give him at least [a] partially guaranteed fourth year… I think Chris entertained it for some period of time.”
According to a report, the Los Angeles Lakers declined the opportunity to re-sign Alex Caruso on a team-friendly deal. “I think the Lakers looked at Alex Caruso and said, ‘We’re happy for you, we really appreciate everything you’ve done, we wish we could keep you, but, you know’…he was willing to go back there at three years and $30 million Brian [Windhorst],” said NBA insider Ramona Shelburne during a recent podcast appearance. “He actually gave them that option, even at the end. It’s less than what he signed for in Chicago. But even that was more than they were willing to pay. … That was as far as they were willing to go. They looked at Caruso and said, ‘We can go to $7 million a year, but above that it gets too cost-prohibitive.’”