Minnesota Timberwolves

Reports: Jimmy Butler trade talks 'fall apart' between Timberwolves and Heat

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Jimmy Butler (NBA Getty Images)

According to multiple reports from Marc Stein of the New York Times, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, trade discussions between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat regarding All-Star Jimmy Butler stalled at a crucial juncture.

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The reports indicated that the two teams had gotten to the point of exchanging the medical information of the players, which is usually the final step in trade negotiations. In this trade, however, Wojnarowski reported that it was another amendment to the deal made by Minnesota that caused the trade talks to "fracture."

"Minnesota and Miami had been discussing deals that included a third team to take on salary, as well as doing a direct trade between only the Timberwolves and Heat, league sources said. Miami had softened on including guard Josh Richardson in versions of a possible deal for Butler, only to recoil once Minnesota pushed late for a sweeter return on the four-time All-Star forward, league sources said.

Talks between the two teams could restart again, but it appears there would need to be a resetting process between Miami and Minnesota, league sources said. Minnesota has been engaged with no serious talks elsewhere on Butler, with teams believing that a Miami deal was inevitable and the Timberwolves steep asking price often remaining a non-starter in talks, league sources said.

[...]

Minnesota had really pushed Miami to include Richardson in any proposed deal. Richardson, 25, is considered a strong, young two-way player. He averaged 12.9 points in 81 starts last season.

[...]

Miami had been searching for a third team to re-route a contract, which included conversations on Miami guard Dion Waiters, sources said. Incentivizing a third team with draft picks became one of the road blocks in Minnesota completing the trade, league sources said.

In any Butler deal, Minnesota had hoped to unload center Gorgui Dieng and the $48 million left on his contract."

The Heat, who had no major offseason departures nor acquisitions, are projected to finish 7th in the Eastern Conference this season. Acquiring an All-Star in Butler, who averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 2017-18, could vault Miami to the top half of the conference.

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