Jimmy Butler Rumors: Why Timberwolves’ Near-Trade With Heat Fell Apart

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Butler was almost traded to the Miami Heat this weekend before the Timberwolves pushed for a larger return, causing the deal to collapse, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Minnesota Timberwolves "advanced to the brink" of trading Butler to the Miami Heat this weekend but saw the deal fall apart at the last minute, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday, citing sources.

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Miami is probably going to be a playoff team this season, with or without swinging a trade for Butler.

However, the Heat retracted their initial offer after Minnesota tried for a "sweeter return" for the 29-year-old. "Incentivizing a third team with draft picks became one of the road blocks in Minnesota completing the trade, league sources said".

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Thibodeau, also the vice president of basketball operations in Minnesota, and owner Glen Taylor are in a standoff over Butler's status, with Taylor preferring to end the distraction quickly. But it appears that it is the Wolves camp that would always force teams to back off from negotiations due to reports that Minnesota's asking price is way too high. Miami always desires to be a destination for the NBA's elite players, and having Butler in tow helps with that goal.

Miami's believed willingness to pay Butler something in the neighborhood of a five-year, $190 million maximum contract next summer has played a part in Butler's enthusiasm in pursuing a deal there. Thanks to Butler making his intentions to leave Minnesota known, the Wolves have lost some leverage - everybody knows they need to make a deal pretty soon. Butler remains away from the team officially as he rehabilitates his surgically-repaired right hand.

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