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.
The Timberwolves had reportedly sought Josh Richardson, 25, in any deal with the Heat, something Miami had finally relented on to make the deal seem like a possibility. Richardson has missed the Heat's first three exhibitions with what the team has listed as a left thigh contusion.
But they recoiled once Minnesota asked for something more, putting any deal back to square one. "Rarely does a deal fall apart when teams get this far".
Butler made it clear last month after showdown talks with Tom Thibodeau that he wants to leave. Considering he's been blatant about his distaste for the Wolves, Butler isn't going to re-sign with Minnesota next offseason when he becomes a free agent.
Miami's believed willingness to pay Butler something in the neighborhood of a five-year, $190 million maximum contract next summer has played a part in Butler's enthusiasm in pursuing a deal there, league sources said. Miami always desires to be a destination for the NBA's elite players, and having Butler in tow helps with that goal.