NBA Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz on Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love and More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler plays against the Indiana Pacers in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

All eyes remain on disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Jimmy Butler as he continues to seek a trade from the organization despite returning for the start of the regular season after sitting out the preseason in the hopes of being dealt.

It's a key storyline for not only Butler and the Wolves but also the rest of the NBA because his value on the trade market is going to set the bar for everyone else. General managers who will be looking to sell in the coming months are hoping Minnesota receive a monster return.

Let's check out the latest rumors about that situation along with some other speculation from around the league during the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign.


Wolves Ownership Still Committed to Butler Trade

Butler is off to a strong start amid the drama, averaging 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 3.2 assists across five appearances. The same can't be said for the Timberwolves, who are 2-4 after a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

That suggests Minnesota, which had high expectations coming into the year before the guard's situation started to take center stage, might be best off trying to move him as soon as possible. It sounds like the team's ownership is trying to make that happen.

Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reported owner Glen Taylor "assured" Butler the front office is working to find a deal and noted that there's belief the franchise will "seriously revisit" the trade discussions in the coming weeks after about 10 or 15 games.

An offer from the Houston Rockets that included four first-round picks wasn't enough, with the Wolves also wanting fellow shooting guard Eric Gordon in return. The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are other potential landing spots, per Andrews.

The Timberwolves are in a tough spot because they wanted to compete in the loaded Western Conference this season, but the early returns suggest that's not possible while the Butler situation looms over the team. And it's unclear whether they will get a return with a high-impact player in the package.

While it's no surprise Minnesota has moved with caution in the trade talks given Butler's value, it will have to amplify the efforts if the struggles continue.


Kevin Love Deal Central to Cavs' Rebuilding Plans

All signs pointed to a rebuild for the Cleveland Cavaliers after LeBron James left the organization as a free agent to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer. Nothing that's happened during the team's sluggish start suggests it can exceed expectations.

Now the question is how soon it will look to move its veteran assets.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported that Kevin Love will be the "centerpiece" once the Cavs decide to execute their "talent dump," but one NBA executive doesn't expect it to happen right away.

"Don't hold your breath," the source told Deveney. "If they decide to blow it all up, I don't expect that decision to be made until we get close to the deadline. They still think they can win."

Love should maintain his value as the top scoring threat on a team with limited options, barring injury. In addition, the team signed him to a four-year contract extension in July, so it's not a situation wherein they have to trade him or lose him next summer for nothing.

That keeps the Cavs in control, but moving the five-time All-Star selection is still the best option as the team begins looking toward the future.


Kyle Korver Will Likely Be Moved to Contender

Kyle Korver is another ageing member of the Cavaliers who could be dealt. While Love could stay if the right deal isn't found, the three-point sharpshooter's exit feels more certain since his contract for next season is only partially guaranteed, and then he can become a free agent in 2020.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that Cleveland is "widely expected to trade him to a contender," but it hasn't actively tried to move the 37-year-old Creighton product since the start of training camp.

For his part, Korver said Wednesday the Cavs are "trying to figure a lot of things out across the board" and that he will keep trying to make an impact while the front office decides how to move forward.

"I think they're sorting a lot of things out," he told reporters. "Like I said, it's a great job, and I'll come here and work hard every day."

Perhaps the Lakers will come calling before February's trade deadline to discuss a reunion between LeBron and Korver. L.A. could use another perimeter weapon as it looks to remain competitive in the West.


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