Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor declined to accept a trade offer from the Miami Heat for small forward Jimmy Butler that was centered on guard Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Butler has requested a trade from the Timberwolves and reportedly prefers to play for the Heat. The four-time All-Star is close with Dwyane Wade and believes he can recruit other star players to South Beach. Butler and his representatives have reportedly grown frustrated by how the Timberwolves have handled his trade request.
“[Taylor] could have escaped his Butler nightmare by accepting a package from Miami that would have been headlined by the promising Heat swingman Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick,” Stein wrote in his latest mailbag column. “Yet Taylor balked. Numerous teams have complained in recent days that [Tom] Thibodeau and [Scott] Layden are acting like two men who really don’t want to make a deal.”
Butler and his camp believe the Timberwolves’ asking price for the 29-year-old star is too high, and that’s why a deal hasn’t been made yet. In 59 games last season, Jimmy Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He underwent left knee surgery in February and had an elective right hand procedure in July.
This Butler saga is almost four weeks old now. The regular season starts next week, and it’s looking like there could be a slight chance Butler is still on Timberwolves when Minnesota takes on the San Antonio Spurs. From the outside looking in, there’s no way Butler and big man Karl-Anthony Towns can share the same locker room again. But with the way this whole soap opera has transpired, nothing would come as a shock.