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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the teams were close to finalizing a deal over the weekend but talks fell apart when the T-Wolves asked for additional compensation. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor remains adamant that management needs to accommodate Butler’s trade request.
The Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson asked a Heat source what the Timberwolves were seeking in return and the source replied, “The first born of all our kids.”
The Heat are considered the only serious suitor for Butler at the moment.
Butler has pushed Minnesota for a trade since meeting with team brass last month. An unrestricted free agent in July, Butler does not plan to re-sign with the Wolves if a trade cannot be completed.
Wojnarowski previously reported the Wolves have sought Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo and a 2019 first-round pick in exchange for Butler. The Wolves are also looking for a team to take on the salary of Gorgui Dieng, who will make $ 48.7 million over the next three seasons.
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported the two sides have discussed deals involving Richardson and medicals have been exchanged.
The Heat are in a precarious position because they don’t want to negotiate against themselves but need to make a deal for Butler. They are helplessly over the cap with no real avenue to get under by July, so a trade is the only way they can acquire a superstar. Butler’s Bird rights would transfer over to Miami, allowing the team to max him out while over the salary cap.
The Wolves, who made the playoffs last season for the first time in more than a decade, seem primed to take a step back amid the internal turmoil. Taylor’s demand that Butler be dealt could call into question the job status of coach Tom Thibodeau, who was given personnel control when he was hired in 2016. Thibodeau and general manger Scott Layden have handled the negotiations with Miami.
If Thibs’ standing with the organization is shaky, it’s not hard to see why he’d want to maximize the value of Butler. Already a polarizing figure because of his tendency to push his players hard (particularly in playing time), Thibs likely doesn’t want to see his Wolves tenure end with the organization crumbling—especially over a guy he acquired.