The Miami Heat are considered the team most likely to trade for small forward Jimmy Butler, New York Times insider Marc Stein wrote in his latest mailbag column.
Butler has requested a trade from the Timberwolves and prefers to play in South Beach. The Heat have been as aggressive as any other team in trying to trade for Butler, who is a four-time All-Star and has averaged at least 20 points per game four seasons in a row.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has been informed Butler prefers a trade to the Heat, which matters due to his status as an impending free agent. The Heat know this is there only chance to get Butler because they don’t have the cap space to sign him as a free agent. Butler can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019 if he declines his 2019-20 player option.
Jimmy Butler is slated to make $18.7 million this season. The 29-year-old swingman averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last season, shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from 3-point range. There have been multiple reports which claim Butler doesn’t want to play with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins anymore.
The Timberwolves are currently in Los Angeles. Butler is at the team’s practice facility working out, but likely won’t be there Thursday when the club returns from the West Coast.