Blazers engaged in Butler trade talks, but Lillard, McCollum are off limits


A star wants to play for the Brooklyn Nets.

And it worked! Even though Butler was available for only 59 games, the Timberwolves clinched a playoff spot on the last night of the regular season, and they avoided a sweep before the Houston Rockets eliminated them in the quarterfinals.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra covets versatile, two-way players, and Miami may offer Butler a welcome change in scenery from frigid Minnesota. All of this has been happening while the team has been racing to get Karl-Anthony Towns to agree to a contract extension that will keep him from becoming a restricted free agent next summer. ESPN reported that Towns' agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the Wolves of his client's intention to sign the extension on Saturday evening. With a young team searching for an identity, a veteran leader with the work ethic and resume of Butler could prove to be priceless. If he doesn't, his contract would pay him approximately $158 million instead, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. In the immediate aftermath of the report, T'wolves forward Andrew Wiggins' brother Nick posted "Hallelujah" with some emojis for good measure.

According to one National Basketball Association insider, Pat Riley and the Heat front office have been amongst the most aggressive regarding a trade for disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler.

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Butler joined the Timberwolves in 2017 after being traded away by the Chicago Bulls. Coupled with him having played heavy minutes for the past several years - mostly under Thibodeau - and approaching 30, there's an argument to be made against giving Butler a five-year max in the neighborhood of $200 million.

Towns was named third team all-NBA last season, a significant accomplishment when it came to Towns' next contract.

It's unclear what kind of return Taylor is looking for in a Butler trade or what other teams are offering. He declined and by asking for a trade this early, Butler is doing the Wolves a favor in hoping to get assets in exchange instead of walking away and leaving the team empty-handed. Butler and Eric Bledsoe as a backcourt could be the best defensive duo in the league, and better defense will let the Greek Freak run wild more in transition.