The Jimmy Butler saga almost ended this weekend. Key word: almost.
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.
Minnesota even shared Butler’s medical information with Miami late in the week, per Wojnarowski, and seemed poised to finally move the disgruntled swingman, who is entering the final year of his contract and requested a trade a few weeks ago.
So, why did the deal break down?
According to Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves tried to “amend the framework” of the trade Saturday by pushing for a “sweeter return” for Butler. The Heat, who had been willing to include guard Josh Richardson in a return package for Butler, apparently balked at the new proposal, causing talks to fall apart.
There’s still a chance the teams re-open trade talks, Wojnarowski reported, but if Minnesota can’t work things out with Miami, it might be in trouble.
“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,” Wojnarowski wrote, citing league sources.
Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau reportedly was trying to convince Butler to stay in Minnesota for one final season, but team owner Glen Taylor now is pushing the front office to find a deal for the 29-year-old, per Wojnarowski.
It appears the Wolves aren’t having much success on that front, though, as their asking price appears too high for any team to match.