Riley tells Heat he’s pulled plug on Butler trade talks

Pat Riley recently told Heat players he had ceased trade talks with the Timberwolves.

Miami Heat president Pat Riley is done talking trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for now, according to multiple reports, including one from the Miami Herald.

Riley had been involved in discussions on Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler, who requested a trade more than a month ago. It’s been reported that Miami is Butler’s preferred destination.

But Riley told the team he is done talking, as confirmed by the Heat.

“According to a team spokesman, Riley acknowledged the trade discussions and apologized for players’ names surfacing in rumors,” the Herald reported. “The message was, ‘I’m pulling the plug,’ after talks continued for too long, but there was no guarantee that a trade will not happen down the road.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported something similar.

“Pat Riley informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season in a show of loyalty the organization has for their current players,” Charania wrote.

Riley may have ceased talks with the Timberwolves, but most insiders will tell you the Heat remain the frontrunners for Butler.

“Miami has certainly been the most aggressive in getting him,” Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic said during an appearance on ESPN 99.1 radio.

Krawczynski added that the Houston Rockets have continued their pursuit of Butler, and suspects the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets may re-engage in Butler talks with the Timberwolves.

While all those teams and more are interested, most around the league agree — the odds seem to strongly favor Butler landing in Miami.

Meanwhile, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor recently told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the team is standing steadfast in its efforts to deal its star swingman.

“We need to be looking at a trade,” Taylor said.

Butler and the Timberwolves are coming off a loss at San Antonio. They play their first home game Friday against Cleveland.