Despite Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor’s reported insistence that the team trade disgruntled star Jimmy Butler, the asking price is said to be too high.
Apr 11, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler (23) dunks in the second quarter against Denver Nuggets at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported Thursday morning that the Timberwolves are seeking a package of both prospects and veterans for Butler, who wants to be traded.
Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday: “Minnesota’s asking price for Jimmy Butler remains too steep for teams. Minny seeks quality vets/top prospects/future assets/cap relief. Too high a price for interested teams, including Miami. Sources are skeptical of Thibodeau’s desire to make deal.”
Head coach Tom Thibodeau met with Butler in Minneapolis following Butler’s physical on Monday, but overtures intended to coax Butler back to the team were rebuffed, according to multiple reports.
On Tuesday, Thibodeau said Minnesota plans to “honor his request” and is currently “seeing what is out there.”
Butler was given permission to skip the team’s media day on Monday. He was present only for medical evaluations. Thibodeau said Butler would be away from the team for at least a week because he’s still rehabbing from offseason surgery on his right hand. However, Butler posted to social media his intense training workout videos and doesn’t appear to be physically limited in any way.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Butler prefers a trade to Miami, and while the Heat are interested in acquiring Butler, they have found trade talks difficult.
According to reports, the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings also have expressed interest.
The Philadelphia 76ers lost interest when the Timberwolves asked about 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, The Ringer reported Thursday.
Butler, 29, appeared in 59 games last season for the Timberwolves, averaging 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals.
He is entering the fourth season of a five-year, $92.3 million contract he signed with Chicago in 2015, but he can enter the free agent market next summer by opting out of the final year. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $18.7 million in 2018-19.
In July, Butler reportedly turned down Minnesota’s four-year extension offer worth $110 million.
—Field Level Media