The Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat have been discussing potential trade options surrounding Jimmy Butler. Even after talks failed to produce any positive results, the two teams have remained in contact.
The Heat want the 29-year-old All-Star, and they have tried to mold their offers as Minnesota has dictated.
In a conference call on Wednesday, TNT’s NBA analyst Reggie Miller said that dealing Josh Richardson away would be a bad move:
“I love Josh Richardson and I think he’s a young stud and I would not part ways if I’m Pat Riley and Micky Arison,” Miller said. “You’ve got Josh Richardson on a good deal of four years, $41 million. You’ve got Bam Adebayo on a rookie deal. Bam Adebayo was a fantastic draft choice.”
Miller expanded on what acquiring Butler might mean for the Heat’s playoff expectations:
“Jimmy Butler fantastic person, fantastic player, but his longevity because of some of the injuries that have occurred kind of scare me a little. Does it automatically make them in contention like Boston [if Miami acquires him]? You don’t say now it’s between Boston and Miami. It doesn’t make them seven games better, doesn’t make them clear cut favorites. I keep those young players and personally wouldn’t do the deal.”
Miller’s colleague Chris Webber, who also works as an analyst for TNT, said that he would not trade Richardson, Adebayo, and a No. 1 pick for Butler:
“One player is not going to change the culture in Miami and I don’t know if it will give you seven more wins a year,” Webber said. “I don’t know if it will give you five or seven more years of winning. I like those young guys in the locker-room. That would not be something I would do.”
While Butler has a strong inclination to leave Minnesota, the Timberwolves seem unwilling to budge on whatever pieces they have to get in exchange for the Houston, Texas native. The Heat had reportedly offered Richardson and a protected first-round pick, but still couldn’t move the needle for the Timberwolves.
The Heat will have some tough decisions to make if they want Butler, as Minnesota won’t be giving him up easily.