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The saga of Jimmy Butler’s pending separation with the Minnesota Timberwolves took another turn over the weekend.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports talks between the Timberwolves and the Miami Heat regarding the All-Star swingman had progressed, only for the swap to “fracture” Saturday.
ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend – only to see trade fall apart. Minnesota shared Butler’s medical info with Miami, owners were involved and sides prepared to finalize. Minnesota pushed for more, talks fractured.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018
The report says Minnesota had shared Butler’s medical records with Miami late in the week, which is typically the final step before a deal is consummated. Former NBA executive Bobby Marks, now of ESPN, said a deal breaking down at that stage is rare.
The process of sharing medical/insurance information is equal to getting to the 5 yard line. Rarely does a deal fall apart when teams get this far.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 7, 2018
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and Heat owner Mickey Arinson reportedly had become involved in the discussions and all indications were a trade was going to be reported to the league office.
However, at that point, according to Wojnarowski, Minnesota wanted to alter the framework of the deal and talks collapsed.
Wojnarowski reports the two teams had been talking about swaps that included a third team to take on salary, along with a direct trade between them.
Miami had reportedly backed off its claim to not include guard Josh Richardson in any possible deal for Butler, though it all broke down when Minnesota came in late with its want to add a sweetener.
The 29-year-old Butler turned down an offer of a four-year, $110 contract extension from the Timberwolves earlier this offseason, fueling speculation he may want to move on. He will become a free agent next summer barring an extension.