As speculation around Jimmy Butler continues to heat up, Butler’s camp reportedly is pushing for a deal with Heat.
Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have informed Timberwolves ownership that Butler’s preferred destination is Miami, according to The New York Times, citing unidentified league sources.
The report adds the interest appears to be mutual as “the Heat have pursued Butler as aggressively as any of the 20-plus teams to inquire thus far.” Miami, however, has found it hard to get Minnesota to “clearly communicate.”
The Timberwolves are in the process of fielding trade inquiries for their star guard after Butler reportedly demanded a trade from Minnesota last week.
Coach Tom Thibodeau has expressed interest in keeping Butler, but the feeling reportedly is not mutual. Butler remains adamant that he will not return to the team even after a meeting Monday with Thibodeau, who tried to persuade Butler to rejoin the team, according to ESPN.
Conflicting reports came out last week as ESPN reported Minnesota’s front office was shutting down trade requests from other teams. However, ESPN later reported owner Glen Taylor had a different message, saying Butler is available and teams should contact him directly.
Butler has two years remaining on the five-year, $92 million deal he signed with the Bulls in 2015. He was traded to the Timberwolves before last season. However, Butler can opt out after this season.
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists last season for Minnesota, which made the playoffs for the first time since 2004.