NBA Trade Rumors: Latest on Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves Saga

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 25:  Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves attends the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Angers SCO at Parc des Princes on August 25, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler has almost certainly played his last game for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

As for when he'll play his first game for a new team, well, no one really has a good answer.

Butler remains away from the Timberwolves as they begin preseason play and at this point is losing valuable time he could be using to get acclimated to whatever his new situation will be. The timing of Butler's trade request put everyone in a little bit of a jam, but Minnesota's brain trust does not appear to be in any hurry.

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported the Wolves' asking price for Butler remains sky high despite pressure mounting to get a deal done. Butler and his agents are becoming "increasingly frustrated" by what they perceive as a lack of urgency.

The report describes offers made by the Timberwolves as "downright delusional." 

One player the Wolves have apparently targeted is Josh Richardson, who Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports is unavailable. Richardson is the most logical trade target on the Heat's roster for Minnesota given its desire to find a reasonable replacement for Butler. Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo are the only other young players on the Miami roster of any real intrigue, and Adebayo isn't going anywhere.

Richardson is in the first season of a four-year, $42 million agreement he made last season. The deal already looks like a steal given the market for strong 3-and-D wings, but it would be hard to see Miami turning down a chance to trade for Butler at the expense of Richardson. The Heat do not have cap flexibility next summer, so their best chance at landing a star is right now with Butler.

As it stands, Miami and the Houston Rockets appear to be the strongest potential suitors, but nothing seems concrete. Tom Thibodeau seems willing to wait for a deal that's never going to come. The San Antonio Spurs just traded Kawhi Leonard over the summer for DeMar DeRozan, a worse player in every respect with a huge contract.

Stars in the final year of their contract aren't going to fetch some 2K gargantuan deal. So until Butler comes into camp or the Wolves snap back to reality, it appears this is going nowhere fast. 


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