The Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly re-engaged in Jimmy Butler trade discussions.
A host of the Miami Heat Beat podcast first suggested on Friday morning that talks had reopened.
The suggestion was confirmed by Five Reasons Sports Network and ESPN’s Stefano Fusaro.
The Rockets’ Monster Offer
On Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Houston had offered a package that included four first-round draft picks in an effort to land the four-time All-Star from Minnesota:
The Rockets’ offer constitutes the maximum number of first-round picks allowable in a deal, factoring in league rules that necessitate no first-rounders can be conveyed in successive years and no pick can be traded further out than seven seasons.
The lottery protections on picks in this proposed deal would be limited.
Discussions on the players involved in the Minnesota-Houston talks remain fluid, league sources said.
Woj also noted that on Wednesday, the Rockets would be able to trade Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss. Both players were acquired from the Phoenix Suns in August, and can’t be dealt until two months after that initial trade. Their salaries — $30 million across two years and just more than $7 million over two years with a team option on the second, respectively — could help facilitate a deal.
A key date in Houston’s pursuit of Butler could be Wednesday, league sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe. That is the two-month anniversary of their acquisition of Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss from the Phoenix Suns, at which point Houston can aggregate one or both of their salaries into trade packages.
Miami’s Last Offer
The Heat’s most recent reported offer for Butler included Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, and a protected first-round pick in 2019, according to the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
A week ago, Winderman reported that Heat president Pat Riley had told the Heat players whose names were involved in the trade rumors that he’d “pulled the plug” on talks with the Wolves.
“I know it’s a business,” Richardson said of his meeting with Riley, per The Athletic. “I didn’t really take it for too much. I just kind of kept it going and kept it rolling. But I know anything can happen. It’s hard to avoid it, especially when I’m getting tagged in 150 tweets every day and on my Instagram. I don’t pay attention to it. … I know that whatever’s supposed to happen is going to happen.”