Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: Heat, T-Wolves Neared Deal; Minnesota Changed Terms

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 4, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

The Miami Heat "were making significant progress" on a deal for disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler this week before trade talks hit a snag after the T-Wolves attempted to change the terms, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Stein noted there is not currently a third team involved in trade talks between Miami and Minnesota. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported that the Sacramento Kings may be a necessary third party in any deal the Timberwolves make, as the Kings could take on unwanted contracts in exchange for draft picks.

Wojnarowski added the Heat were "pushing" the Timberwolves for an answer on a revised proposal on Wednesday. However, per Wojnarowski, Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau is looking to have Butler on the court to start the season, barring trade. Butler reportedly does not intend on skipping regular-season games if his wrist is healthy.

Wojnarowski also noted the T-Wolves' "preferences...have included center Bam Adebayo, guard Josh Richardson and a protected 2019 first-round pick," but a revised deal could include more players.

Minnesota opens the season against the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 17.

When Stadium's Shams Charania reported last month that Butler had requested a trade, that put the rest of the league on notice that the impending free agent could be available. Butler's list of preferred destinations initially featured the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets, according to Wojnarowski.

However, Stein has recently made it clear Miami is now the four-time All-Star's top choice. Butler played with Heat legend Dwyane Wade during the 2016-17 season.

It's not clear what Minnesota has been asking for in trades or if the organization is truly looking to make a deal. In fact, according to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski and Charania, Butler went to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to check to see if trade talks were "proceeding in good faith."

Thibodeau is on record saying the team will not be settling in any potential trade.

"We're not going to be pressured into a bad deal," Thibodeau said in September, per Krawczynski.

Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 59 games during his first season in Minnesota in 2017-18. With the help of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Co., Butler led the Timberwolves to their first postseason appearance since 2004.

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