Report: Heat interested in acquiring Jimmy Butler
The Miami Heat are a member of the pool of teams interested in prying the services of Jimmy Butler away from the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald confirmed this:
Am told Heat holds Butler in very high regard. So yes, there is interest. But question, as usual this summer, is whether Heat has enough to entice a team with disgruntled star. Highly debatable.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 19, 2018
Butler, a four-time All-Star, requested a trade after a sit-down meeting with head coach and president Tom Thibodeau. Butler gave the Wolves a list of preferred destinations that includes the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers, big-market teams which have a ton of salary cap flexibility next summer when he’s set to become a free agent.
The Heat, however, don’t have much flexibility and wouldn’t be able to sign him outright to a massive contract in July. Miami could try to work out a trade and hope Butler re-signs. With the return of Dwayne Wade for one final year, a player Butler has become close friends with, he could be more inclined to add the Heat to his list. Woj reports that Butler’s list could grow if the Wolves can’t work out a deal with one of his preferred teams.
Minnesota acquired Butler from the Chicago Bulls on draft night in 2017 for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft rights to Lauri Markkanen. The Wolves also got the rights to No. 16 pick Justin Patton in the deal. Butler helped end Minnesota’s lengthy playoff drought, but his relationship with the team’s young players soured and he’s looking to be the man in a big market … and get paid that way.