Miami Heat Have High Interest in Trading for Jimmy Butler

Tyler Owen
September 20, 2018

After weeks of seriously contemplating his future in Minnesota, Butler requested a trade from the Timberwolves and informed Thibodeau of his decision on Tuesday in a meeting in Los Angeles, league sources told The Athletic.

Upon reading Shams Charania tweet about Butler's trade request, the former Wichita State guard commented, "Hallelujah".

Jimmy Butler reportedly has asked the Timberwolves to trade him, with his eye on three teams. All three teams have cap space to sign Butler outright next offseason as a free agent. If reports are true that Jimmy is looking ahead to the summer of 2019 to choose what team will get his services, it would be in the Wolves best interest to trade their superstar now.

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Butler, 29, has long expressed his desire to compete for championships at this stage of his career, which the Wolves aren't in line for after a 47-win season marked by a first-round playoff exit and reported friction between Butler and young core pieces in Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Technically, Butler is now signed through the 2019-20 season, but he has a player option for that final year and will nearly certainly opt out of the deal. Players signed this summer can't be traded until at least December 15 (and, in specific instances, January 15), which greatly reduces Minnesota's flexibility to make the best deal it can for one of the league's elite wing players.

The Wolves acquired Butler in a trade with the Chicago Bulls just last June in a deal that appeared extremely lopsided in Minnesota's favor at the time. (See Leonard, Kawhi). And Vegas thinks the Sixers are the most likely new team for Butler to start the season on. The four-time all-star has averaged 20-plus point per game in each of the past four seasons, which an average true shooting percentage of 58.0.

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