Report: Jimmy Butler Demanding Minnesota Timberwolves to Make Trade by Friday

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That status of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler has been up in the air after he demanded a trade to another NBA team.

The Miami Heat have been one of most interested parties in acquiring the 29-year-old veteran, who has now reportedly demanded that the Timberwolves make a deal by this Friday.

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The Heat had begun their trade negotiations for Butler by not offering Josh Richardson as one of the players in any proposed deal. However, they reportedly changed their mind over the last week, only to see the Timberwolves ask for more in return. That request resulted in those trade talks coming to an abrupt end, though the expectation is that talks will resume at some point.

Butler’s relationship with current teammate Karl-Anthony Towns deteriorated over the course of last season. With Towns having signed an extension last month that’s scheduled to pay him $190 million over five years beginning next season, it’s clear that the Timberwolves consider him to be an integral part of the team’s future.

The Heat’s only current way to have Butler join the team is to trade for him, since his likely free agent status next July wouldn’t allow them to sign him because of their salary-cap issues. Ideally, they would like to add him prior to the start of their regular season, which gets underway in Orlando on Oct. 17.

The Timberwolves have until the February trading deadline to make a deal for Butler, so there’s no particular rush for them to listen to their disgruntled player’s artificial deadline. Right now, Butler’s only likely alternative is to not play, which presumably means that he wouldn’t be paid.

Yet the team doesn’t want dissension to tear apart the roster once the season begins if he does, so it may be open to whatever deal the Heat are now offering in order to move forward.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, 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.