Jimmy Butler’s wish might have come true by now if not for Tom Thibodeau’s stubbornness.
The Miami Heat have struggled to acquire Butler because Thibodeau, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coach and president of basketball operations, has no desire to include Heat center Hassan Whiteside in any trade, Getmoresports.com’s Chris Sheridan reported Monday, citing sources close to the T-Wolves boss. Butler reportedly prefers a trade to Miami, and the Heat are believed to be the front-runners in the race to trade for him. But no deal has materialized, reportedly because of Thibodeau’s stance on Whiteside.
The Heat are willing to include any player in a trade for Butler, except for Bam Adebayo and Josh Richardson, according to Sheridan. Miami also would take Gorgui Dieng and the remaining three-years, $48.5 million of his contract in order to facilitate a Butler deal, something on which the Timberwolves reportedly insist but other potential trade partners might be reluctant to do.
Butler reportedly has doubted Thibodeau’s willingness to trade him since he issued his request last month and is growing increasingly frustrated with the Timberwolves inability to move him. Minnesota’ reported steep asking price has been widely cited as a reason for Butler remaining in place.
Yet, given Thibodeau’s reported resistance to Whiteside, it’s probably better to change the description of the Timberwolves’ asking from “steep” to “non-starter.”
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