Storyline: Jimmy Butler to Heat?

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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.”

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.”

“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.”

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.

“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.

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.
2 months ago via ESPN

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.
2 months ago via 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.

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: “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.”

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.”

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.

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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December 10, 2018 | 9:48 am EST Update
While New Orleans is trying to win enough to convince Davis to stay, the rest of the league is ruminating about what it would take to pry Davis away. Such speculation is happening constantly now, but executives around the league see virtually no chance that Davis is traded before the Pelicans can offer him that super-max extension in July. New Orleans, as it should, will do everything it can to keep Davis — and will move on from him only if it absolutely has to.
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If that happens, the Pelicans will have only one logical option: to trade Davis before he leaves in free agency. The same process has played out with several others, including Leonard, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George. None of them, though, would inspire the kind of bidding war an available Davis would. “That’s what you guys do,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said of the trade speculation. “You guys talk about it. He’s here. He’s playing on our team. We’re trying to win games. That’s the only thing that matters right now. “It’s not anything that I’m going to have a say-so in or anything else, so we don’t bother with it. We worry about now. We worry about winning games and putting everybody in the best position to win games.”
57 mins ago via ESPN
Interestingly, Jimmy Butler and Brown agreed in separate interviews Sunday that the Sixers’ offensive spacing is fine. Butler has flourished here since arriving Nov. 12, having scored 38 points in each of the past two outings. “I think the spacing is great,” Butler said. “I think we have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket. We just have to pick and choose where we’re going to be at a certain time. As long as we keep sharing the ball the way that we share the ball and guarding, I’m telling you, we’re going to win.
As for Embiid, Butler can empathize with having to adjust on the fly. “I know where his heart is, man,” Butler said. “I can feel for him. It’s new for myself. It’s new to him. It’s new to everybody. But we’re O.K. I know he wants to win. “He’s frustrated. He wanted to play (Friday and) coach didn’t let him play. We need him. He’s been doing a lot on both ends of the floor for this team. As our best player, I can understand him being frustrated. We’ll figure out ways to make sure he’s successful.”
But here they are, still together. Perhaps it’s because of Wade’s nature. Those who know him well will tell you he takes after his grandmother, who helped raise him and was extremely giving, accepting and forgiving. To be James’ friend for any length of time, maybe it requires a person whom James respects, but also someone who is willing to deal with the challenges James’ personality brings with it. Wade is one of the greatest players in NBA history; James certainly respects that. And Wade has been willing to roll with James’ changing moods and desires over the years. If Wade has ever held any grudge, it has never been apparent.
57 mins ago via ESPN
And Lillard, 28, is something of a media chaos agent: He had the NBA watchers watching him this summer as he broke news of reporters changing jobs, reminding them — occasionally by force — that no one at this level is in the business of keeping secrets. “Nobody knew where I was getting my information from,” Lillard would recall, and the power and insider knowledge was at times intoxicating.