The Jimmy Butler trade saga of the 2018 NBA offseason has been one of the most well-documented and head-scratching in recent memory. While Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau seemingly has no interest in moving his All-Star guard, that may not be a great option.
The Timberwolves could technically opt to hold Butler throughout the season, but they’d eventually lose him in free agency. In turn, this has led to trade talks ramping back up and rumors beginning to fly once again. After the earlier stages of the offseason were loaded with a plethora of rumors and a wide range of options, it’s become far more streamlined as of late.
Butler’s potential landing spot via trade has been narrowed down somewhat, largely due to the fact that many teams pulled back after hearing Minnesota’s high asking price. But let’s take a look at the latest rumors which have come out on a possible deal.
Potential Miami Heat Trade Cools Off
Originally, the Heat seemed to be the most likely landing spot for Butler. They wanted the 29-year-old badly and apparently came closer than any team has to this point. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first revealed, the Timberwolves nearly had a deal in place with the Heat, but it fell apart when Butler’s current team pushed for more.
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 (@wojespn) October 7, 2018
The two sides were unable to bounce back from that, at least to this point. And shortly after that news came to light, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel revealed the Heat were reportedly not re-engaging with the Timberwolves.
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.
For now, the talks of a potential move to Miami are on hold, and very well may be dead altogether.
Houston Rockets Offer Their Future in Picks
Shortly after Butler had accepted the fact that he’d be with the Timberwolves to start the season, the Rockets upped the ante a bit. As ESPN reported, Houston offered a deal which included an eye-opening four first-round draft picks. While that wasn’t enough to get the deal done, largely due to the fact that these picks would have been at the bottom of the round, it got the ball rolling again.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania later detailed that along with the first-round selections, the Rockets included Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight in the deal. After turning down Houston’s previous deal, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported that Eric Gordon is a “mandatory” piece of any trade for the Timberwolves.
So as of now, it seems that unless Gordon is included in a deal from the Rockets, the Timberwolves won’t send Butler to the Western Conference juggernaut.
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