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In today’s NBA, rumors of trades, discord and coaching changes are just a way of life. That especially seems to be the case this time of year.
Few teams understand that like the Miami Heat and coach Erik Spoelstra — who are reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler.
All the while, Spoelstra must prepare his team for an upcoming 82-game regular season of professional basketball, while helping his players fight off the distractions that come with seeing their names churning on the rumor mill.
“A lot of teams are dealing with a bunch of noise, that’s the reality of this business,” Spoelstra told reporters. “If you just try to brush it under the rug and say it doesn’t exist, that’s not healthy, either.”
Along with the ongoing Butler rumors, Ethan Skolnik of Miami’s Five Reasons Sports reported the Heat are aggressively trying to trade shooting guard Dion Waiters, “even if it’s not directly for Jimmy Butler.”
On a related note, Spoelstra is reportedly pushing the Heat to make the deal for Butler.
Either way, Spoelstra is in his 11th season as head coach of the Heat. Rumors and trade talks are nothing new — not for a man who once coached the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to four appearances in the Finals and two championships.
“You have to be honest about whatever … and control the controllables, as we like to say,” Spoelstra told reporters. “That’s practice, that’s meetings, that’s preparing. The world and the league that these guys have to navigate through is much different than it used to be.”