There were a flurry of tweets last night, but very little new hard information. It started with this:
The Wolves and Heat were making significant progress on a Jimmy Butler trade this week, league sources say, before deal changes proposed by Minnesota led to a breakdown in talks— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 4, 2018
As always, we should be wary of “sources” who always have their own agenda. Did Thibs/Layden really sabotage a decent deal, or did they simply refuse a bad one? Who knows? I am convinced the Wolves F.O. is not helping this process along, but it can also be true they are getting nothing but crappy offers.
Woj chimed in:
Sources: Barring a trade, Tom Thibodeau is still determined to get Butler back with the team for start of season. Butler hasn't made a final decision on when he'll join team and practice, but he doesn't plan to miss regular season games if his wrist is healthy. https://t.co/iQypvZ88ad— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 4, 2018
Couple of things here: Clearly the Heat are the one team pushing for a trade. It would be nice to have others involved, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The idea that Thibs is determined to get Butler back in the fold if a trade isn’t consummated is...interesting. I don’t know how true it is, but certainly Thibs never wanted this situation (though he did little to prevent it.)
Would Butler actually report to the Wolves? I have to imagine that’s an absolute last resort, and the awkwardness would be immense. Those bridges look pretty burned to me. But I suppose if it’s a matter of getting paid, he might show up. The locker room, which had its issues last season, would be something else again if he comes back.
Woj published an article on ESPN:
Minnesota’s preferences in a Miami deal have included center Bam Adebayo, guard Josh Richardson and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources said. A trade could take on a larger construction to include more players, league sources said.
In any Butler deal, Minnesota has wanted to unload center Gorgui Dieng and the $48 million left on his contract.
Well, those are the right people to ask for. Whether the Heat are willing to part with those guys seems to be the issue. I’ve written this before, but if I were the Heat, I wouldn’t trade Richardson. On the other hand, if I’m the Wolves, I wouldn’t do a deal without him. We’ll see if/when either side gives on that equation.
When the Timberwolves return from a West Coast preseason road trip early Thursday morning, president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau is expected to push for Butler to return to practice and start preparations for the regular season, league sources said.
Again, this would be weird.
As the Wolves traveled, Butler has been working out at the team’s facility and has been in regular contact with teammates, including point guard Jeff Teague.
I do find it interesting, and perhaps indicative that Butler would eventually report, that he’s been hanging around in Minneapolis.
This has been your Jimmy Butler update.