We know an outline of what happened over the weekend between Minnesota and Miami: The sides were talking about a Jimmy Butler trade with Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, and a pick heading back to Minnesota. The trade got close enough to being done that medical records were exchanged, the equivalent of having first down on the three-yard line. Then Minnesota’s Tom Thibodeau tried to change the parameters of the deal and it fell apart.
Now we have some juicy details about that collapse, courtesy Jorge Sedano of ESPN.
That sounds about right, both for Riley and his reaction. And I don’t blame him one bit.
The trade talk collapse brought Butler back to Timberwolves practice, which was a disaster in its own right. Although some in the organization loved it. (That was Butler trying to force a trade by making everyone uncomfortable, and don’t think for a second it’s a coincidence he returned to practice and made a scene the day ESPN’s Rachel Nichols happened to be there for a scheduled visit. Butler planned this for maximum effect. Then conducted a players-only meeting the next day.)
Everyone is asking when the Butler trade will get done. The answer is when Minnesota owner Glen Taylor forces Thibodeau to pull the trigger on a deal and do it. And nobody can predict when that will be.