The Timberwolves have had talks with several teams since Butler made the request — including Miami — and nearly got a deal done with the Heat over the weekend. But those negotiations broke down, a person with direct knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press. The person said on Wednesday that the Heat have not initiated any further conversation with Minnesota since. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because details of the trade talks have not been publicly disclosed.
Butler, in the ESPN interview, insisted money is not his motivation — and indicated he’s been unhappy in Minnesota for some time.
“It’s not about money,” Butler said. “It’s about saying, ‘We need you. We want you here. We can’t do this without you.’ And that was the disconnect all year long. You’re saying one thing and you’re saying it, you’re saying it, you’re saying it ... Actions speak louder than words.”
Minnesota guard Jeff Teague, a close friend of Butler’s, said after practice Wednesday that Butler’s status shouldn’t be a distraction for Wolves players.
“It’s part of the game,” Teague said. “I don’t think it’s distracting me, but maybe it is distracting some other guys. Either way, man, I love Jimmy. Jimmy is my guy. But if he’s not here, we’ve got a good team.”
Butler told ESPN that he plans to be back at practice Thursday, but cautioned that the relationship with the Timberwolves is still fractured.
“It’s not fixed,” Butler said. “To be honest with you, it’s not fixed.”