As the Jimmy Butler drama comes to a close, interesting details of Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau wanting an extra $5 million in a deal with the Miami Heat has surfaced according to Marc Stein of The New York Times:
“If I was trying to recoup everything that Tom Thibodeau gave up to get his beloved Butler — Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the first-round draft pick that became Lauri Markkanen — I would have preferred what the Heat offered last month,” stated Stein in response to a question he received from a fan via email. “I’m told that Minnesota’s talks with the Heat largely collapsed when Thibodeau asked for a $5 million cash infusion from Miami as part of a deal that would have sent [Josh] Richardson, Kelly Olynyk and a future first-rounder to the Wolves for Butler.”
It was initially reported that final talks between Minnesota and Miami stalled after Richardson was removed from any possible deals. Miami had one of the most promising offers before Houston offered four first-round picks for Butler’s services. After showing no aggression to complete a deal with Houston, many front office executives believe that Minnesota simply leaked the offer to pry more assets from Miami.
The Heat will once more have another chance to land Butler in the upcoming offseason. Butler will be an unrestricted free agent, making him available to any team with the necessary cap space. Miami can make the necessary roster moves to free up space and lure Butler, while also swaying him with a championship environment and location in South Beach.
The Heat may have made the right decision, as Richardson is putting up career averages this season with 20.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.