Butler is set to earn $20.4 million this season and has a player option worth $19.8 million in 2019-20.
This represents a hurdle for Houston, which is already well above the tax threshold.
Butler has previously made it clear that he wants to be traded to Miami. "The Clippers are still very much interested, so are the Houston Rockets, but outside of that there are teams in the Eastern Conference that are like, 'Listen, we are fully under the belief that Minnesota is exclusively targeting the Miami Heat'". Each of those teams have the cap space to pay him next summer. According to a league source, Minnesota's asking price to trade Butler is high. The four-time All-Star has been away from the Timberwolves as the front office seeks out a trade.
Butler underwent successful elective surgery on his right hand at the end of July, however, the procedure did not sideline him from any basketball activities.
According to Stein, that deal did not involve a third team.
Jimmy Butler won't be holding out from Timberwolves camp.
Though the preference is to keep Richardson, Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and Justise Winslow, the Heat likely would need to relinquish at least one and possibly two of those in a trade for Butler. The Heat lacks the first, but could offer its first-round pick in 2019 and also could dangle multiple starters.
Meanwhile, Miami remains the favorite to land Butler, reportedly pushing Minnesota to accept a revised offer after two weeks of ongoing discussion.