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Heat aggressive in pursuit of Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler, Heat,

The Miami Heat have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a report for Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Heat president Pat Riley has a knack for making these types of splashes.

Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler played together with the Chicago Bulls in the 2016-17 season and remain close friends. Butler reportedly prefers to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, but probably won’t mind a move to South Beach.

In his first season with the Timberwolves last season after spending the first six years of his NBA career with the Bulls, Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game during the regular season. He shot 47.4 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from 3.

Butler averaged just 15.8 points per game in the 2018 postseason. He was playing on a bad knee, as he tore his right meniscus in late February and underwent surgery. The 6-foot-7 swingman was also playing with a hand injury and had an elective right hand procedure in July.

The Heat have gauged the trade market for shooting guard Dion Waiters and center Hassan Whiteside this offseason. Miami could build a package around those two for Butler.

Whiteside is owed $24.4 million and $27.1 million in the final two years of his contract, while Waiters has three years and roughly $36 million owed to him.