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The Whiteboard: Who has the leverage in Jimmy Butler trade talks?

09 October 2018

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, as both parties neared agreeable terms this weekend, a potential deal fell through when the Timberwolves "moved to amend the framework".

The Miami Heat almost completed a blockbuster deal for Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler before it collapsed over the weekend, according to an ESPN report.

Any trade at this point looks like the best angle for Minnesota, considering Butler's stance on the preseason and the belief that owner Glen Taylor's stance hasn't changed: Butler must be traded.

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 Los Angeles Clippers, one of the three landing spots Butler initially preferred, were reportedly in talks with Minnesota, along with the Houston Rockets.

Butler made it clear last month after showdown talks with Tom Thibodeau that he wants to leave.

Butler has one year left on his contract, but the belief is that he won't be signing long-term in Minnesota, and many reports have said that he's asked to be traded.

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. At first blush it might seem like the Heat could afford to hold off and not bite on Butler right now. The Heat stand among Butler's preference landing destinations.

Every trade in every sports league is influenced heavily by leverage, and the current Jimmy Butler trade talks going on in the National Basketball Association right now are no exception.

The Whiteboard: Who has the leverage in Jimmy Butler trade talks?