The Jimmy Butler saga has taken another turn.
The Houston Rockets reportedly offered the Minnesota Timberwolves a trade that involves four first-round draft picks for Jimmy Butler, and it’s kind of insane that Tom Thibodeau hasn’t already accepted the offer. He hasn’t.
According to ESPN, the Miami Heat have come back to the table as a result. Thibodeau must really want to keep Butler if four draft picks won’t sway the tide.
The Rockets can’t trade Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss until next Wednesday, because they were acquired in August. Their salaries would help the deal get done financially, and so the Heat now have an opportunity to jump in before Houston can. Honestly, Miami might be saving the Rockets from themselves.
The last time the Heat and Timberwolves negotiated, the offer was Butler for Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, and a protected first-round pick in 2019. Apparently, they even exchanged medical information on the players involved, and that is typically the final step before the trade is fully agreed upon. Thibodeau called Heat president Pat Riley back and demanded more assets before the trigger was pulled, though, and that drew a tremendous amount of rage from Riley, who isn’t exactly a calm guy to begin with.
Butler has definitely been one of the most entertaining storylines to start the season, and he’s even taken some of the attention away from LeBron James beginning his career with the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems quite unlikely that Butler will still be on the Timberwolves after the trade deadline.
Butler is averaging 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.8 steals per game. Karl-Anthony Towns has looked apathetic on the court so far, and this situation in Minnesota looks like it’ll get worse before it gets better. Maybe the Heat will finally make an offer that puts the Wolves and Rockets out of their misery.