Why the Miami Heat Are in Prime Position to Land Jimmy Butler

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Despite the collapse of trade talks between the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves regarding veteran Jimmy Butler, the chances of a deal between the two teams remains a possibility.

That’s because one report indicates that the Timberwolves are currently not in discussions with any other NBA teams.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the breakdown in discussions and added the key reason why seeing Butler in a Heat uniform is still within the realm of possibility:

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“Minnesota has been engaged with no serious talks elsewhere on Butler, with teams believing that a Miami deal was inevitable and the Timberwolves’ steep asking price often remaining a nonstarter, league sources said.”

The Heat had been reluctant to include Josh Richardson in any prior discussions about a Butler deal, an approach that changed course in recent days. However, after making that decision, a subsequent counter-offer from the Timberwolves that asked for even more angered the Heat enough to put at least a temporary end to any further talks.

The problem for the Timberwolves is that the team’s options among other teams are limited beyond the Heat, the reported top choice of Butler. While the Houston Rockets have made their attempts, other discussions with teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have gone nowhere.

Minnesota doesn’t have the luxury of playing hardball by waiting for the situation to turn in its favor. The team has until the February trade deadline to deal the disgruntled Butler or it’ll get nothing for him when he’s expected to opt out of the final year of his contract next July. Therefore, patience might be a virtue worth holding onto for the Heat in the weeks ahead.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.