The Minnesota Timberwolves are slowly exploring avenues for a Jimmy Butler trade, and the Miami Heat have emerged as the most active suitor.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports there is little traction with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, while Miami is aggressively pursuing Butler.
Sources: Miami has been the most engaged team with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade. So far, no traction with Clippers and Nets. Houston's tried to be creative in its pursuit. It'll be a challenge — although not impossible — to get any Butler deal done without a third team.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 26, 2018
This isn’t a surprise, considering NBA executives have considered Miami the leading contender to land the All-Star.
However, a three-way deal remains the most likely transaction despite the difficulty of executing one. The Sacramento Kings would be the best source of salary relief, though the Phoenix Suns could get involved too.
Miami must be prepared to offer a first-round draft choice in addition to some package involving Tyler Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Josh Richardson or perhaps Hassan Whiteside. Put simply, acquiring Butler won’t be easily done.
Nevertheless, given the dysfunction within the Minnesota organization, a trade involving Butler seems a matter of when, not if.