It has been almost 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. It would have sent the Timberwolves' disgruntled star to Miami as part of a trade package, according to Woj.
"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".
Miami is probably going to be a playoff team this season, with or without swinging a trade for Butler.
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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. It is important to note that Butler will be a free agent next year, making it more hard for Minny's trade partners to commit more valuable assets in exchange for the 29-year old star.
Previous reports indicated the Timberwolves' preference that several of the Heat's blue-chip assets be included in a Butler trade - namely, Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson, and a 2019 first-round pick. With negotiations reaching another dead end, Butler's camp has started questioning if the Wolves front office is actually making a deal or just pretending to get a deal done. Miami always desires to be a destination for the NBA's elite players, and having Butler in tow helps with that goal. Butler remains away from the team officially as he rehabilitates his surgically-repaired right hand.