The Minnesota Timberwolves' asking price to trade All-Star forward Jimmy Butler remains quality veterans, top prospects, future assets and salary-cap relief, which is presently too steep of a package for interested teams, league sources told ESPN.
Throughout trade talks, Minnesota Timberwolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau has continued to try to recruit Butler to ease off his trade demand and return to practice with the team, league sources said. Butler has yet to attend a Timberwolves workout and wants to sit out until the franchise executes a trade for him.
Teams pursuing Butler remain skeptical of Thibodeau's desire to execute a trade, believing that he's making counterproposals that Thibodeau knows teams will never accept.
In less cynical terms, front offices believe that Minnesota minimally wants to fully recoup the assets that Thibodeau gave up in the 2017 trade with Chicago for Butler. Nevertheless, there is sympathy for Thibodeau's predicament. He was hired with a mandate to win, reached the playoffs for the franchise's first time in 13 years last season, and wants to continue on that path with his current core of players. Many do understand why he's asking for a significant return on Butler instead of moving him out quickly in a deal.
So far, there has been no team close to willing to meet Thibodeau's massive return for a Butler deal. Butler can become a free agent in July, and teams recognize that he already has asked for a trade from Minnesota and a coach he has enjoyed a long, prosperous and close relationship with -- and Butler could be a risk to leave them in summer free agency. Butler, 29, wants a trade and a full five-year, $190 million contract extension with a new team, sources said.
The Miami Heat have been the latest to aggressively pursue a deal for Butler, but Minnesota's counter was a non-starter for Heat president Pat Riley, league sources said. Along with Butler, Miami had been willing to accept Gorgui Dieng and the remaining $48 million left on his contract under the right circumstances, sources said.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are among teams interested with Butler, league sources said. The Brooklyn Nets have interest, but they haven't been engaged recently with Minnesota, sources said. Washington and Dallas are among teams who've gauged the asking price on Butler too, league sources said.