AMES, Iowa -- It has been nearly three weeks since Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves, and although the Timberwolves were close to a trade this weekend, Butler is still on the team and uncertainty clouds his immediate future.
The Wolves and Heat were close to a deal on Friday, but talks broke down late in the process, a source told the Star Tribune.
The Heat have been aggressive in pursuing Butler and Miami is one of Butler’s preferred destinations in a trade, but despite progress on talks this week, the teams couldn’t get to the finish line. The talks could re-start, but the breakdown means it will likely take more time for the Wolves to deal Butler and the ambiguity around his status could remain into the regular season.
ESPN reported that the trade progressed to the point where the Wolves shared Butler’s medical information with the Heat and the owners for each team were consulted until the Wolves made 11th hour demands and the talks broke down. The report also said the Rockets have been aggressive in trying to acquire Butler while Yahoo reported the Clippers have interest in trading for Butler. ESPN reported the Heat softened their stance to include guard Josh Richardson in a potential deal.
Thibodeau has said Butler’s situation is “fluid” and has repeated many times over the last few weeks that he will make a deal as long as a good deal materializes. Butler remains away from the team officially as he rehabilitates his surgically-repaired right hand. The Wolves are at Iowa State on Sunday for a preseason game against the Bucks.