While various offers have been made by both teams over the past couple of weeks, a deal has yet to be finalized.
According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, the Heat, along with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, have their doubts about the Timberwolves’ intentions:
“There has been widespread skepticism throughout the league that Tom Thibodeau truly does want to pull the trigger and send out one of his favorite players, with Sam Amick reporting that the Houston Rockets are in that group.
“The Heat, Clippers, 76ers and Nets are among other teams to have expressed privately their misgivings about the Wolves’ intentions, league sources have said. But they also could have expected Minnesota to fold much more quickly on a deal given the circumstances.”
It was reported earlier that Minnesota required any trade for the 29-year-old veteran to include Josh Richardson if the Heat wanted a deal. When reports came out that the Clippers had been in contact with the Timberwolves, Tobias Harris was the vital piece Minnesota coveted.
In either situation, the Timberwolves have made it abundantly clear they are after exactly what they want and nothing less. Tom Thibodeau is going to reach a deal on his accord or the Marquette University standout will be playing in Minnesota this year.
The Timberwolves think they deserve the kitchen sink in exchange for Butler, but the Heat think otherwise. Of course, trade perception is relative, and with Minnesota holding the Houston, Texas native as a trump card, negotiations might have to be on the Timberwolves’ terms.
The Heat, who don’t have enough cap space to make a push for free agents this offseason, absolutely have to trade if they have any hope of grabbing the All-Star. Therefore, Minnesota has the upper hand in any trade discussion with the Heat, and this could be the reasoning behind the Timberwolves’ reluctance to strike a deal.