Days ago, multiple news outlets reported that a trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat for Jimmy Butler had fallen apart. However, that apparently hasn’t kept the Heat from showing interest in rekindling trade talks with the Wolves for their disgruntled All-Star guard.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Heat remain interested in restarting trade talks with the Wolves after the deal that seemed close to happening collapsed on Saturday. Yesterday, Butler reportedly informed Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau that he still wants to be traded, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski. Butler had been away from the team while the Wolves were in California for a preseason bonding trip.

On Wednesday afternoon, Wojnarowski reported via Twitter that Butler practiced with the team. However, Butler reportedly verbally challenged teammates, coaches and the front office during the practice session.

Krawczynski reported via Twitter that Wolves forward Anthony Tolliver said the following about Butler: “He was … around. That’s really all I gotta say about that.”

Some on the Wolves had been hoping Butler could perhaps rejoin the team after he was at the team practice facility today, writes Wojnarowski: 

There has been hope among the Minnesota front office, coaching staff and some teammates that Butler would rejoin the team, but it remained to be seen what, if anything, Butler would do on the court with the Wolves on Wednesday. At times, Butler has been working out away from the team at the facility since his trade request three weeks ago.

Proposed changes from Minnesota created a breakdown in earlier trade negotiations just as the teams were close to finalizing a deal. The teams reportedly advanced to the point of exchanging player medical information, which is typically the last step of NBA trade negotiations.

Except for this trade, the Timberwolves responded with an amendment to the framework of the deal, according to Wojnarowski, which caused the trade talks to “fracture”.

Butler, a four-time All-Star, averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 59 games for the Timberwolves last season. He had a minor procedure done on his right hand in July after meniscus surgery on his right knee in February, an injury that kept him out for 21 games in 2017-18.

Still, it seems the Heat are perhaps the only serious contender for Butler at this point, writes Wojnarowski: 

Outside of the Heat, the Timberwolves have had no serious, active talks ongoing with any other team recently, league sources said. Butler has told Minnesota that he’ll leave in free agency in July — and wants a trade now.

Owner Glen Taylor has pushing president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden to find a deal sooner rather than later for Butler, league sources said.

Reports circulated in the offseason that Butler was frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Next season, Wiggins will begin playing on his maximum contract in 2018-19, with a $25 million-plus salary that will account for more than 20 percent of the team’s cap and push the Timberwolves close to the luxury tax threshold. Towns signed an extension with the Wolves shortly after training camp opened, securing his place in Minnesota for years to come.

The Timberwolves acquired Butler from Chicago in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen during the 2017 offseason. The former 30th overall pick helped propel the young Timberwolves to a 47-35 season while earning his fourth consecutive All-Star berth. The Wolves made the playoffs, ending a 14-year drought for the franchise, but they lost 4-1 to the top-seeded Houston Rockets in the first round. 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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