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For Timberwolves and president/coach Tom Thibodeau, accepting two players unlikely to crack his rotation and four draft picks with uncertain conditions was a non-starter, sources said. Around the NBA, there’s belief that the Heat and Philadelphia 76ers could re-emerge in the Butler discussions.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “I still think Philadelphia may be heard from again in this, and Miami, I don’t think they’ve given up on the idea of Jimmy Butler, but Houston is the one team who says, ‘OK, we want to win it, this is our window, it’s in the next couple of years, and right now we’re probably not good enough to do it.'”
Taylor has tasked general manager Scott Layden with the focus of finding a trade, as Thibodeau concentrates on coaching the team. Miami and Philadelphia remain teams interested in potential deals for Butler, and Taylor has hoped that those teams would become more aggressive in their offers to pry Butler, league sources said.
Sam Amick: “I still feel like the pressure that comes with a season – if I had to pick one side or the other, I would probably say he gets moved somewhere before the deadline. Because for the T-Wolves, you run into the thing where losing a guy like that for nothing is tough. Glen Taylor, eventually, has to go get through Tom Thibodeau and just be the owner and realize if you lose an asset for nothing, that’s a terrible way to do business.”
Jeff Goodman: “If you were a betting man, are you betting Jimmy Butler stays with Minnesota for the year? Until the trade deadline? What’s your take on the whole situation? Do you have any info that would give people some insight to people on where he could end up now? I know the Miami thing was heavy and it kind of appears dead now.” Sam Amick: “It is dead right now, by all indications.”
Sam Amick: “And then on the other side of that, you’re just gonna have teams like Miami and Houston, who are gonna realize they need a little more. Houston’s getting off to a tough start, and now these suspensions, it’s even worse. So what does that look like down the line, if their record, if they’re scuffling? This is a team, in terms of expectations, they are the ones talking about, ‘We’re the No. 1 contenders for the crown.’ That’s how they’re talking. That’s a pretty high bar. So maybe it’s Houston putting more on the table than they had before. Maybe it’s Miami.”
Alex Kennedy: According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, in addition to the Miami Heat, the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are interested in Jimmy Butler. In this snippet from our weekend podcast (audioboom.com/posts/7053994-…), Brian explains why a trade hasn’t happened yet: pic.twitter.com/2boyDTn5zP
Nichols said she spoke with Butler during training camp about when he might want to talk publicly. “Honestly, at one point when it looked like things were going a certain way with Minnesota, Jimmy was in Los Angeles for a week and we thought he was going to come and be on the show,” she said. “That was the original plan, to come to the studio and be on the show and we had the beginnings of that setup. Then the trade conversations with Miami heated up and he and his agent —and this was smart on their part — thought Jimmy randomly going on TV and talking about stuff might not be the smartest thing.”
Just days before the start of the season, Pat Riley addressed the Jimmy Butler trade rumors with Heat players in a team meeting. According to a team spokesman, Riley acknowledged the trade discussions and apologized for players’ names surfacing in rumors. The message was, “I’m pulling the plug,” after talks continued for too long, but there was no guarantee that a trade will not happen down the road.
A Heat source said last week that Miami would not go back to Minnesota to re-start talks, but would not rule out a trade if Minnesota reaches out to them.
“It calms you down, for sure, a little bit,” point guard Goran Dragic said of the meeting. “Of course, everybody is talking, including me. I just want to focus on my job. But deep down, it affects you a little bit. I want to stay here. I like it, really. So when Pat came after practice and sat us down and we had a small meeting, he told us that and you can feel a little bit of relief. But that doesn’t mean, in the near future it can’t happen. So we still need to do our job. We still need to be professionals.”
Ira Winderman: Heat confirm that Pat Riley addressed his players about Jimmy Butler trade rumors and told them, “I’m pulling the plug.” But he did not tell them anything about standing by his young players. Rather, made them aware of process.
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.
Shandel Richardson: Erik Spoelstra will not address any questions regarding Jimmy Butler.
Ira Winderman: Heat spokesman says team will not address trade speculation.
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.
Will Manso: Well, Dwyane isn’t subtle. Nice insta tag 😂
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.
Stefano Fusaro: According to an NBA source, the Miami Heat are one of those teams.
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.
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February 17, 2019 | 9:04 pm EST Update
Jeff Zillgitt: If you care about such NBA All-Star things, Kevin Durant has passed Julius Erving & Bob Pettit for sixth on the all-time All-Star scoring list. Has a chance to pass Oscar Robertson for fifth place. LeBron James 343, Kobe Bryant 290, Michael Jordan 262, Oscar Robertson 246, KD 228