ESPN 99.1: .@Jon Krawczynski on Jimmy Butler: “Miami has certainly been the most aggressive in getting him. Think HOU will be in for a while. BRO/PHI maybe come back into it. Hard to handicap it, but odds in favor of him landing in Miami”
Marc Stein: Although I still can’t believe that the Wolves didn’t jump on the Heat’s offer headlined by the promising Josh Richardson, Miami continues to be the most likely Butler destination. Yet I must note that rumbles persist about Houston maintaining serious interest in trying to concoct a workable deal structure that convinces the Timberwolves to surrender their All-Star swingman — even though you hear over and over that Minnesota wants to send him East if it sends Butler anywhere, to avoid helping the Rockets establish their own superteam.
CBS Sports: There's been so much noise on the Jimmy front, and this isn't your first experience with rumors hanging over a team. Do you consider it part of your job to talk to guys about this stuff and keep them focused? Udonis Haslem: Only if I feel the need to. Only if I see that there's a guy that can be disturbed by trade rumors, that's not giving his best effort or not being himself because of the trade rumors that might be surrounding that particular player. But we haven't had any of that. Our guys have stayed engaged. Our guys have stayed in touch. Guys have continued to focus on the team and the things that they're trying to improve.
Ira Winderman: Pat Riley statement: "As to what has been reported in the past 24 hours, I have too much respect for Tom Thibodeau and all that he's accomplished in the league. Our conversations have been nothing but cordial and I have never used that kind of language in negotiations. But I do admit to telling Danny Ainge to . . ." (That reference to his "STFU" quote during the LeBron Era.)
An NBA source familiar with the Miami Heat's involvement in trade negotiations with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Jimmy Butler on Friday downplayed a report of contentiousness. The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, "are not trying to re-engage" in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler's recent behavior and comments.
"So they finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson. Then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which, really, generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally -- I was told -- called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone." A NBA source familiar with the Heat's dealings with the Timberwolves said Riley insists he did not offer such a reaction.
The Heat do not publicly comment on trade negotiations and numerous times since Butler's trade request became public three weeks ago have, through their media-relations department, stressed that players, coaches and team officials would not be made available to comment on the matter. The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, "are not trying to re-engage" in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler's recent behavior and comments.
Here’s the audio from Sedano’s ESPN Los Angeles radio show today, in which he describes the almost-trade between the Heat and the Wolves: Here it is transcribed: There’s been a couple of different incarnations of this deal. The first one, the Heat didn’t want to take back Gorgui Dieng. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was ‘OK forget it, let’s just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.’ They finally relented on Josh Richardson, they were giving them Josh Richardson, then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler, and then a protected first-round pick. The medicals were exchanged, which generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally—I was told—called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After talks fell apart over weekend, Miami's still pursuing discussions with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade, sources tell ESPN. Butler has been in Timberwolves locker room with teammates this morning before practice, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll join them on floor.
That the talks collapsed twice in such a short span should be surprising to no one who has followed the Wolves throughout Taylor's quarter-century of ownership. The same Taylor who held onto Kevin Garnett and then-General Manager Kevin McHale for too long. Who allowed himself to be talked into hiring the thoroughly ill-prepared David Kahn as McHale's replacement. Who could have escaped his Butler nightmare by accepting a package from Miami that would have been headlined by the promising Heat swingman Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick.
Jeff Zillgitt: To borrow a phrase my mom used to yell at me, the Heat have had it up to here with the Timberwolves, I'm told. Doesn't mean talks can't be resurrected, but exasperated is polite way to describe Heat in this situation.
Talks between the two teams could restart again, but it appears there would need to be a resetting process between Miami and Minnesota, league sources said. Minnesota has been engaged with no serious talks elsewhere on Butler, with teams believing that a Miami deal was inevitable and the Timberwolves steep asking price often remaining a non-starter in talks, league sources said. Butler is a four-time All-Star who has told Minnesota that he'll leave in free agency in July -- and wants a trade now.
Asked what the Wolves are seeking, a Heat source said: “The first born of all our kids.” Still, the source declined to rule out the possibility of a deal still happening if Minnesota lessens its demands.
The Wolves are believed to be asking for several of the assets the Heat considers most valuable: Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow and a No. 1 pick. Miami had shown willingness to include Richardson after initially balking, according to a source.
Shams Charania: Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Minnesota and Miami have seriously discussed several frameworks of a potential deal for Jimmy Butler, including ones with Heat's Josh Richardson. Medicals shared both ways. Timberwolves do not appear any closer a deal.
Owner Glen Taylor is pushing president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden to find a deal sooner than later for Butler, league sources said. Minnesota had really pushed Miami to include Richardson in any proposed deal. Richardson, 25, is considered a strong, young two-way player. He averaged 12.9 points in 81 starts last season. He's in the first season of a four-year, $42 million contract.
Minnesota had shared Butler's medical information with Miami late in the week, sources said, a typical last step before finalizing a trade. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor and Miami owner Micky Arison had become involved in the talks and there was hope that a trade call with the league office could finalize a deal soon -- until Minnesota moved to amend the framework of the trade and talks collapsed on Saturday, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend – only to see trade fall apart. Minnesota shared Butler’s medical info with Miami, owners were involved and sides prepared to finalize. Minnesota pushed for more, talks fractured.
Adrian Wojnarowski: While Minnesota-Miami talks on Jimmy Butler continued today, there's no deal imminent tonight, league sources tell ESPN.
Timberwolves executives told other interested teams in the past 24 hours that they didn't have any offers that met the franchise's criteria to honor Butler's trade request and planned to hold on to him until a deal met their requirements, league sources said. Miami is one of the preferred destinations of Butler's, league sources said. He has told the Wolves that he'll leave the team in July free agency, and has expressed interest in several teams with max salary space, including the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Miami, Minnesota have been consistently engaged in Jimmy Butler talks for several days, with Heat pushing Timberwolves for an answer today on a revised offer, league sources tell ESPN. Minnesota’s conversations are relatively sparse elsewhere; remain focused on Miami.
Marc Stein: As @NYTSports reported last week, Wolves ownership has been notified that Miami is Jimmy Butler's preferred destination, which is significant given that Butler becomes a free agent July 1
Darren Wolfson: Had a mutual friend of ours in the league say today that he heard the Wolves asked Miami for both Richardson and Bam. But couldn't confirm from another contact. But falls in line with what @Marc Stein has tonight.
Darren Wolfson: "My understanding is, from talking to numerous league officials - league sources, front-office folks, a coach, actually, a couple of coaching sources - that the Timberwolves have all the parameters of the deals that they can make. So it's on the Wolves at some point here to say yes. Now, do they wait a little bit longer just to see if some team adds some player in, like Miami? Miami is not willing to move Josh Richardson. But in the end, do they offer Josh Richardson? I talked about that on a recent podcast, that some league people thought yeah, at the end, Pat Riley would make him available when you have the chance to acquire a star like Jimmy Butler. But so far, as of Oct. 2nd, no sense whatsoever that Miami is making Josh Richardson available. Same goes for Bam Adebayo."
Darren Wolfson: "Now, league folks still say to keep an eye on Miami. That Miami wants him the most, that he wants to be in Miami—not that the Wolves care about that but, hey, if he wants to be in Miami and Miami wants him, that eventually you can find some sort of happy medium, find a way to complete a trade."
Darren Wolfson: "Is Goran Dragic available [in exchange for Jimmy Butler]? Yeah, the Wolves could acquire Goran Dragic. Is Hassan Whiteside available? Yeah, the Wolves could acquire Hassan Whiteside. From Houston, you can get Eric Gordon. You can get PJ Tucker. The Rockets want Jimmy Butler. The Bucks are willing to offer Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe—the Bucks still have interest in Jimmy Butler, but they're not willing to move Khris Middleton. ... The Clippers are also still very, very interested in Jimmy Butler."
Anthony Chiang: FWIW: Among the scouts expected to be at tonight's Heat-Hornets preseason game is Minnesota Timberwolves scout Pete Mickeal. Neither team plays Minnesota until December.
Ethan J. Skolnick: "I heard that the last offer [the Miami Heat made for Jimmy Butler] was on Thursday morning. Coincidentally... it was a little coincidental to me that two reports came out of Houston right after the Heat made their final offer. That, to me, strikes me as Minnesota was [leaking] stuff out—that somebody else was interested. Because a couple of those reports on Friday night were like, 'A deal is gonna get done by midnight.' We're sitting here talking on Monday, there's been no deal."
The Wolves asked about Josh Richardson, but the Heat - as of Thursday - was not interested in including him, according to a league source.
Ethan J. Skolnick: Jimmy Butler update: Multiple sources have told @5ReasonsSports & @FusaroESPN today that the Heat made what they deemed a "final offer" to the Wolves on Thursday morning & told the Wolves to sort out their situation..... It is not clear if that has changed since....
Ethan J. Skolnick: Two other league sources have told @5ReasonsSports that the Heat and Rockets were the teams most engaged in trade conversations with the Wolves to that point. There is also a belief the Clippers could change the equation if they offer more. Mostly, teams are waiting on Thibodeau.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Reporting w/ Zach Lowe: Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.
Ira Winderman: To follow up amid reports of Heat cancelling evening practice amid Butler buzz: Heat wanted to and were preparing to practice, but the court time preferred at FAU was not available, so held a team meeting. Same was the case on Tuesday night. He instead went longer Wed. morning.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Miami has been the most engaged team with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade. So far, no traction with Clippers and Nets. Houston's tried to be creative in its pursuit. It'll be a challenge -- although not impossible -- to get any Butler deal done without a third team.
Barry Jackson: Brian Windhorst reporting Spoelstra is pushing for Jimmy Butler deal. As we've noted over the past week, Spoelstra loves Butler, so this wouldn't be surprising.
Meanwhile, the Heat continues to aggressively pursue a trade for the four-time All-Star, who has asked for a trade and informed the Timberwolves that he would not re-sign with them as a free agent next summer. An executive with another Eastern Conference team said he believes Miami is the leading contender for Butler but that wasn’t based on anything the Wolves have told him.
Marc Stein: Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have informed Wolves ownership that Miami is Butler's preferred trade destination, league sources say
Marc Stein: The Heat have pursued Butler as aggressively as any of the 20-plus teams to inquire thus far but, like many, have found it hard to get Minnesota to clearly communicate. League sources say Miami is a team that strongly appeals to the free agent-to-be Butler after a trade
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.
An NBA source familiar with the situation Sunday told the Sun Sentinel that he would expect the Heat to be particularly aggressive in light of the state of the team's current roster and the franchise's long-term outlook. "It makes too much sense for them not to," he said. "But do they have enough?"
Tim Bontemps: In talking with people, there are a lot of names being bandied about in different combinations to make a possible Butler deal to Miami happen. Heat have always been a team unafraid to take a swing for a star. Trying to do so again.
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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.
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.
The Miami Heat have been interested in Butler too, league sources said, although the Heat don't have the salary-cap space in July to pursue him.
After weeks of seriously contemplating his future in Minnesota, Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves and informed Thibodeau of his decision on Tuesday in a meeting in Los Angeles, league sources told The Athletic. Players within the locker room first began to hear whispers of Butler’s plans last week, according to sources. Butler has given the Timberwolves a list of teams that could interest him. The Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers are expected as desired destination, and could extend to the Miami Heat and others, sources said. He’s long held a level of desire to potentially play in Los Angeles, a scenario those around him discussed internally as a Bulls free agent in 2015.
Butler met with Thibodeau on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and informed him that he didn't want to start the season with the Timberwolves and hoped to be traded to a big market team that would want to sign him in the summer. ... Miami has also been a team with interest in Butler, league sources said, but the Heat don't have the salary cap space in July to pursue him.
Should the Heat be interested in acquiring Paul George from the Pacers? -- Daniel, Miami. A: I don't know if they "should be," but I know that they will consider every and any possibilities when it comes to elite-level players, be it George or Jimmy Butler, when those respective teams are eliminated from the playoffs. For as much as Pat Riley praised what the Heat have in place, the reality is that you win in the NBA with elite-level talent surrounded by the proper supporting pieces. But if a playoff team is to move on from such a talent, it likely will require a top-tier piece and a youth element in return. So if you're talking about George or Butler, you're probably also talking about Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic in return. When it comes to the youth element, the Heat do not have a first-round pick to offer in return, although there is the youth of Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. So, to instead offer the simplest response: Yes, absolutely, should a player of that ilk come on the market.
September 19, 2021 | 12:44 pm EDT Update
Brian Windhorst: On opening night I think he’s gonna be in Los Angeles filming jump shot videos. He may be on the roster but I don’t think he’s gonna be there. (…) I don’t think Ben Simmons plays another game in a Sixers uniform.
After Ekpe Udoh’s “dramatic” injury against Tortona, Italian defending champion Virtus Bologna is considering Jordan Bell as a replacement for the former Fenerbahce center, according to Corriere di Bologna
September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
Clutch Points: Isaiah Thomas is expected to work out with the Golden State Warriors on Monday, sources tell @markhaynesnba. pic.twitter.com/aXdiqpdJcl
Lakers legend Pau Gasol, Marc’s older brother, recently sat down with Spanish newspaper Marca as he discussed the future of his sibling. Pau’s response was cryptic, but it is clear that he is hoping that Marc returns to Spain: “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides,” Pau said (h/t Sam Yip of Fan Nation). “I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.”
“I’ve been on him about things I need from him,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Nurk, I know you are going to be a free agent, and I understand you have to have a great year. You need me for you to have a great year, and I need you for us to have a good year. We need each other, right?’ “I’m going to give him every opportunity to have a great year. Because if he has a great year, that means we are a pretty damn good team. Because he is a good player. But that means he has to be focused and be in shape. Because you are only going to play as many minutes as you are physically able. If you are out there tired, uh-uh, come on, gotta get you out. There are good players behind you.”
It is unclear exactly what Nurkic and his role will look like under Billups, but to hear Nurkic talk, Billups has given him a vision of being more involved on both ends. Billups has been careful not to publicly define roles, but in general, he has preached that the offense will include more ball movement. “I just want to feel wanted, and I think I just need more support, and what I mean by that is different playing style, more inside-out game, more chance,” Nurkic said. “More chance to be successful and the position where they put you in. It’s all about the coach and where they put you, and I think Chauncey has figured out that certain people are going to have one to three points less, but the team is going to be way more successful with ball movement and playing together and be more fun. Even at the defensive end.”