The Jimmy Butler trade drama which has overtaken the 2018 NBA offseason was nearly over last week. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first revealed, the Minnesota Timberwolves were incredibly close to a deal with the Miami Heat, but it fell apart when Butler’s current team pushed for more.
This doesn’t mean a deal between the two sides won’t happen, and the Heat have remained at the forefront of trade talks for Butler. But for now, it seems the teams may have to restart talks to some extent, especially if the Timberwolves are looking for even more than originally rumored.
The question becomes, what was included in the near-deal from Saturday? After piecing a bit together, we can at least get a good idea.
What Was Included in Jimmy Butler’s Near Trade to Heat?
The first piece of news that came out was from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who detailed that the Heat were including first-round picks with Josh Richardson.
It originally seemed as though the Heat wouldn’t deal Richardson, but they’ve apparently come around to the idea. After all, if Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra want Butler this badly, they’ll have to be willing to part with a few players they’re fond of.
Marc Stein of the New York Times also revealed it was a protected first-round pick and Richardson which headlined the deal at the time.
But as The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson detailed, a Heat source stated the Timberwolves were asking for “the first born of all our kids.” This again goes back to the fact that Minnesota doesn’t seem interested in being overly realistic about making a deal happen.
Jackson went on to cite that the belief is that the Timberwolves want some mixture of Richardson, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow and a first-round pick. The connection to Adebayo has been fairly consistent it seems, and if/when a deal does get done, the Heat will almost certainly have to include Richardson and Adebayo to make it happen.
Time will tell, but the talks have stalled to some extent between the Heat and Timberwolves. How they’ll look when ramping back up should be a hot-button topic, but there’s at least some reason for optimism that a trade can get done.