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Rockets, Clippers, Cavs among those still interested in Jimmy Butler

Rockets, Clippers, Cavs, Jimmy Butler

The Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers and the Cleveland Cavs are among the teams still interested in trading for Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

Those three will join the Miami Heat, who is the frontrunning suitor for Butler’s services, given the mutual interest despite the frustrating process of having to go through coach/president Tom Thibodeau and his demands to make it happen.

The Brooklyn Nets have also shown interest in Jimmy Butler, but have not engaged with Minnesota recently, putting talks back in the dormant stage for the time being.

The Clippers have interest in Butler, who could take the place of Kawhi Leonard as their new superstar cog due for a max deal, but it’s still unknown if they’re willing to go hard past their boundaries to trade for him, as he could be acquired as a free agent at a much-cheaper price tag.

The Rockets and Cavs have the interest, but a much more difficult route to make a trade happen, given their lack of already-established assets and inability to trade recently-signed players like Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love.

Minnesota’s high asking price includes the need for quality veterans, top prospects, future assets and salary-cap relief — a request that has proved too steep for the Heat and most other inquiring franchises. Such demand has led teams to question Thibodeau’s motives for trading Jimmy Butler, while others empathized with his position, given that his gamble on last year’s draft night has completely gone south.