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Jimmy Butler charters private jet so Tyus Jones can watch brother play for Duke

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Jimmy Butler isn’t handling his (presumed) exit from the Minnesota Timberwolves with much grace. Then again, Butler doesn’t appear to care too much.

What Butler does care about, apparently, is the personal relationships with some of his teammates.

On Wednesday, fellow Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones wanted to get to the matchup between Duke and Kentucky to watch his younger brother Tre play. The elder Jones was unable to secure a flight, which led to Butler stepping in and saving the day.

Via Twitter:

Butler has been a real goober about what’s happened during his time with the Timberwolves, but this was a nice gesture nonetheless and deserves to be acknowledged as such.

Tyus got to see Tre play in 30 minutes in a win over Kansas, 118-84.

Report: Jimmy Butler led Timberwolves third-stringers to scrimmage victory over starters

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Jimmy Butler‘s first practice back with the Timberwolves has already become the stuff of legend.

Adding to it…

Amin Elhassan on ESPN:

I heard that he took the third-stringers, and he beat the starters.

You think Butler wanted to show up Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in particular?

Butler is on a far higher competitive level than Minnesota highly paid young starters, and I think it bothers Butler how much harder he has had to grind for his success. And it probably bothers Towns and Wiggins how hard Butler is on them. And on and on…

It could be a long year for the Timberwolves if they don’t trade Butler. But he still has the juice to help teams. Those seem like the implicit messages behind Butler’s practice performance today.

By the way, this scrimmage result is definitely a great Butler story, but it might not be all about him. It could be a Derrick RoseTyus Jones story, too.

Here are players Heat, Rockets and Bucks reportedly offering for Jimmy Butler

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The Timberwolves have reportedly offered Jimmy Butler to the 76ers for Ben Simmons and Bucks for Khris Middleton, getting rejected both times.

But what kind of offers is Minnesota getting for the disgruntled star? The Rockets and Heat (with evident limitations) are interested, and apparently the Timberwolves’ request didn’t scare off Milwaukee like it did Philadelphia.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN:

My understanding is from talking to numerous league officials, league sources, front-office folks, a coach – actually, a couple coaching sources – that the Wolves have all the parameters of the deals that they can make. So, it’s on the Wolves at some point here to say yes.

Now, do they wait a little bit longer just to see if some team adds a player in – like Miami? Miami is not willing to move Josh Richardson, but in the end, do they offer Josh Richardson?

But, so far, as of October 2nd, no sense whatsoever that Miami is making Josh Richardson available. Same goes for Bam Adebayo. Is Goran Dragic available? Yeah. The Wolves could acquire Goran Dragic. Is Hassan Whiteside available? Yeah, the Wolves could acquire Hassan Whiteside.

From Houston, you can get Eric Gordon. You can get P.J. Tucker. The Rockets want Jimmy Butler.

The Bucks are willing to move Brogdon, Bledsoe. The Bucks still have interest in Jimmy Butler. They’re not willing to move Middleton.

The Clippers are also still very, very interested in Jimmy Butler.

Now, league folks still say keep an eye on Miami, that Miami wants him the most. He wants to be in Miami – not that the Wolves care about that, but hey, if he wants to be in Miami, and Miami wants him, that eventually you can find some sort of happy medium, find a way to complete a trade.

It’s unclear whether each team mentioned is offering both the named players in proposals or only one per proposal.

Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon for Butler would work salary-cap-wise. But there would be diminishing returns for the Bucks dealing their best two point guards, leaving the position to Matthew Dellavedova, and Minnesota adding two point guards to a roster that already has Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose. This also just isn’t enough value for the Timberwolves.

Gordon and Tucker for Butler would also work cap-wise. That trade could be the most sensible, especially if Tom Thibodeau prioritizes the present.

Dragic and Whiteside for Butler would not work cap-wise, though Butler could be traded straight up for either Miami player. But neither Whiteside nor Dragic is nearly as valuable as Butler.

However, it’s difficult to evaluate these offers without knowing the exact parameters. Are other players involved? Picks? This information is interesting, but limited.

Mostly, though, it points to the Timberwolves not receiving enough value for Butler in an offer yet.

Five players most likely to be traded this season

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Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves

Even with all the reported issues in negotiation between Minnesota and other teams, Butler must make this list. He wants out, and Tom Thibodeau at least said he’d honor Butler’s trade request. It’s unclear precisely what Thibodeau means by that, but Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor could always get involved, and he’s more likely to deal Butler.

In the interest of variety, the rest of this list will ignore players with heightened trade alerts simply due to Butler’s availability. Minnesota could use this as a method to unload Gorgui Dieng. The Timberwolves could get another point guard then deal Jeff Teague or Tyus Jones. The Heat are reportedly talking about trading Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic and/or Josh Richardson for Butler.

Kyle Korver, Cavaliers

Even after losing LeBron James, Cleveland is trying to maintain perception of legitimacy. That could mean trading the 37-year-old Korver to a winner. He’s still a dangerous 3-point shooter, and his contract – $7.56 million salary this season, $3.44 million of $7.5 million guaranteed next season – is quite manageable. The Cavs could see trading Korver to a contender as doing right by him, a move that would be respected around the league. And they’d get positive assets for a player extremely unlikely to contribute to their next winning team.

Marquese Chriss, Rockets

Chriss just got traded from the Suns to Houston, but don’t assume he’ll stick there all season. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey loves to wheel and deal and is especially willing to shuffle players during the season. There’s probably a place for Chriss to develop his tools in the NBA, but it might not be on a championship contender. The 21-year-old has looked so far from understanding the game well enough to help at the highest levels. If he shines with the Rockets early, they could trade him for someone more experienced and dependable. If he doesn’t play well (or maybe even if he does), Houston might just want to unload his $3,206,160 salary considering his the luxury-tax hit.

Courtney Lee, Knicks

Lee denies he wants to be traded, but he can still see the writing on the wall: He no longer fits in New York. The Knicks are rebuilding and eying 2019 free agency. Lee is 32 and due $12,759,670 in 2019-20. That salary might make Lee difficult to move, but he can still play. Plenty of teams can use another 3-and-D wing.

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks

Dedmon is a helpful player on an expiring ($7.2 million ) contract who’s stuck on a bad team – usually a set of factors that lead to a trade. But few good teams need a center, so his market is more limited. Dedmon’s combination of production and salary give him an edge in trade likelihood over other centers on expiring contracts on bad teams: Magic’s Nikola Vucevic, Bulls’ Robin Lopez, Kings’ Kosta Koufos. Atlanta also already has John Collins, Omari Spellman and Alex Len. The Hawks should want to get what they can for Dedmon then give more playing time to those younger bigs.

Report: Suns interested in being third team in Jimmy Butler trade if they can get point guard

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Miami has come hard for Jimmy Butler since he demanded a trade — and Butler wants to go there.

That doesn’t make getting a deal done any easier. Minnesota is rumored to want Josh Richardson to be the key piece coming to them, but Miami is reluctant to throw him in a deal (same with Bam Adebayo, however, expect Justise Winslow to be part of any trade).

Miami might be willing to send Goran Dragic and Winslow to Minnesota, however, do the Timberwolves want a 32-year-old point guard who can become a free agent next summer (even if Dragic is an All-Star)? Plus Minnesota already has Jeff Teague at the point.

Enter the Phoenix Suns, who like Sacramento would love to be the third team to help facilitate a trade, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

If Thibodeau tries to give up Tyus Jones in this trade owner Glen Taylor should block it.

There’s a lot of moving parts here — what else would Minnesota get back for sending Teague to Phoenix? — and the bigger problem, according to sources on other teams, is that the message from Minnesota is muddled and inconsistent. Which is what you get when the owner says “get the trade done” but the president of basketball operations (Tom Thibodeau) doesn’t really want to make a trade. Maybe everyone in Minnesota is getting on the same page, but we need to see evidence of that.

Still, there seems to be some level of progress moving towards a deal. It’s just hard to tell how much.