While the Heat have long looked like the favorites in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes, Miami isn’t the only team talking to the Timberwolves. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Wolves and Clippers have had ongoing discussions about a Butler trade.
The Timberwolves have asked for multiple players and picks in conversations with the Clippers, and would prefer to land Tobias Harris in any Butler deal, sources tell Haynes. Minnesota’s asking price has thus far been deemed too high for the Clippers, who don’t plan to trade Harris, Haynes adds.
Some details in Haynes’ report echo what we’ve heard in previous stories about the Timberwolves’ trade discussions — the Yahoo Sports scribe suggests that the Wolves’ front office “hasn’t fully engaged” the Clippers’ pitches. Other reports on Butler have conveyed similar sentiments on Minnesota’s apparent unwillingness to actively engage potential trade partners.
As Haynes writes, there’s a belief that Tom Thibodeau is still holding out hope that he can convince Butler to report to the team and rescind his trade request, despite Thibodeau’s public insistence that the Wolves are working on making a deal. Minnesota’s head coach and president of basketball operations told reporters today that trade talks are “ongoing,” as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press relays.
The Clippers were initially named as one of the teams on Butler’s short list of preferred destinations. The team will clear a significant amount of salary from its books at the end of the 2018/19 season, and could have room for a second maximum-salary free agent even it acquires Butler.
In other Butler news, Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) hears from a league source that the Bucks haven’t had any “substantive” talks with Minnesota about Butler. No players were put on the table and there’s no ongoing dialogue between the two sides at the moment, Velazquez adds. Milwaukee had been named as a potential dark horse Butler suitor early in the process.