Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
“Spoelstra really wants to make this happen,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Jump.
This would make all the sense in the world. Spoelstra is a believer in his ability to handle large personalities after spending four years winning championships with the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. If he could handle the spotlight of the 2010-11 season, adding a disgruntled Butler heading toward free agency is nothing.
The perennial All-Star and four-time All-Defensive Team member also represents a considerable upgrade on the wing over, say, Tyler Johnson or Josh Richardson.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Butler has informed the Minnesota Timberwolves his preferred destination is Miami. The Heat have been aggressive in early trade talks, though it’s unclear how close a deal is to getting done with any team.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported there is a discord in the Wolves organization between coach Tom Thibodeau, who has personnel control, and owner Glen Taylor. Thibodeau understandably wants to work things out with Butler after their history together in Chicago. He recognizes Minnesota’s best chance of returning to the playoffs is with Butler on the roster. There is no package of players any team would give up that would approximate Butler’s immediate value.
Taylor, meanwhile, is tired of the distraction and ready to move on. Wojnarowski reported Taylor has even informed other executives that he’s willing to overrule general manager Scott Layden if the braintrust continues rebuffing advances.
The Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers are also among Butler’s known suitors. Butler can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, when he’s expected to command a maximum contract.