Heat aggressive in pursuit of Timberwolves' Butler

Jimmy Butler Timberwolves Cavs

Butler has been granted permission to not show up to Timberwolves media day on Monday, and he does not have to report to the team for the start of training camp on Tuesday.

Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra always have admired Butler, not only because of his offensive game, but because of his competitive nature and strong defensive skills, which resulted in him being named second-team All-NBA defense four times in his career.

But Thibodeau isn't rushing to proclaim Butler will be dealt.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are unlikely to find a trade for Jimmy Butler, despite their interest, given that their only major piece, the newly re-signed Kevin Love, can't be traded for another six months, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe. For the record, all three of those teams remain in the hunt for his services, but Timberwolves are likely to make the transaction that works in their favor since Butler is entering 2019 on an expiring contract. Now the team is back in the building for 2018 Media Day.

If Butler isn't traded in the next week, this could get incredibly awkward.

Several teams have indicated they may be willing to trade for Butler even without assurances that he'll re-sign. The Cavs reportedly talked to Chicago about acquiring Butler last off-season, but as David Griffin's contract expired, negotiations to bring in a general manager were in limbo.

In that deal, the Timberwolves acquired Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, who got Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexy Shved from Minnesota and a 2015 first-round pick from the Cavaliers. But he said Butler is "a top-10 player in the league", and he holds considerable trade value. Glen, Scott, myself, I think we've made that clear to everyone. A deal between Cleveland and Minnesota would be much more hard to figure out largely due to the number of bad contracts the Cavs have.

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