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Add Cavs, Blazers, Wizards, Bucks to list of teams calling about Jimmy Butler

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The Jimmy Butler saga in Minnesota has been difficult to track the past couple of days. No doubt that’s due to the irregular nature of the potential transaction, with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor circumventing his front office to seek a trade for Butler.

It was reported Saturday that several teams were interested in Butler, including some of the teams the star shooting guard reportedly prefers to land. That list included Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami and Philadelphia.

Now, you can add several more teams to the list who have at least placed phone calls to Minnesota now that they know Butler is available to be dealt.

According to multiple reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Washington Wizards are interested in seeing what they can do to add Butler to their roster.

Trading for Butler at this juncture is a tenuous balance for all parties. Butler can opt out of his current deal at the end of the season, and is expected to do as much. That means teams must be certain that Butler is going to re-sign with them, or be happy with his rental for whatever assets they decide to give up. It puts the Timberwolves in a tough situation as well, where they won’t to get fair exchange for Butler’s overall worth.

We don’t have many details on actual offers just yet. Things seem to be a bit hectic in Minneapolis and new information is still streaming in. Training camp for the Timberwolves starts on Tuesday, and reports say that they would like to have Butler out of town by then.

What teams are willing to give up is another factor, and that self-imposed timeframe could widen what Taylor sees as a good return for Butler.

For example, any deal for Butler with the Blazers would not include Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, or Jusuf Nurkic, according to NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes. That leaves some value for the Timberwolves, including Al-Farouq Aminu or perhaps Maurice Harkless. But if Portland is reportedly not willing to give up any of their most important core, you can expect other teams are heading to Taylor’s door with similar offers.

More teams being added to the potential list of Butler landing spots is not surprising. When a superstar becomes available, just about every general manager will at least place a courtesy call to the trading office. It doesn’t help that Taylor appears publicly to be in a position of little leverage, so no doubt rival general managers are licking their chops to try to snag Butler away for cheap.

Keep your eyes peeled. This one is going to happen quick.

Pat Riley: Dion Waiters not recovered for start of training camp, “unlikely” for start of season

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This is a setback.

When Dion Waiters had ankle surgery 30 games into last season, the hope was that he would be healthy for the start of this season and return to the post All-Star form of 2017, when his hot play (15.6 points per game, 41 percent from three and carrying a heavy offensive load) led the Heat to offer him a four-year contract.

Turns out, that’s not going to happen.

It was Pat Riley who made the announcement, speaking to the media.

Waiters was not healthy last season, and while he averaged 14.3 points a game he was not nearly as efficient — 30.6 percent from three, shooting 39.8 percent overall, a PER of 10.5.

This could move Dwyane Wade into the starting lineup to open the season. Beyond that, the Heat have the guard depth to survive this with Wade and Wayne Ellington at the two, plus Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Malik Newman, and Briante Weber heading into camp.

Waiters being out also is bad news for the player but could save the franchise money on another front: Waiters receives a $1.1 million bonus if he plays in 70 games this season. If he misses the start of the season, he becomes far less likely to make that threshold.

Without better options, Heat settle for sentimentality

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NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

Dwyane Wade took discounts from the Heat for years, seemingly expecting a larger windfall down the road.

It won’t come.

But Wade and Miami will enjoy one last dance together.

Wade is re-signing with the Heat on a one-year minimum contract he said would be for his final season, concluding a nostalgic summer in Miami. The Heat also re-signed local legend Udonis Haslem to another one-year minimum deal.

I wouldn’t expect much from either player on the court. If anything, Wade might prove destructive if the the 36-year-old uses his cachet to assume a larger role than he should handle. Haslem has barely played the last couple years, and that probably won’t change.

Still, there’s something to be said for proper sendoffs. Considering the high standards Wade and Haslem helped set for the franchise by winning three championships, this was unlikely to be a banner year in Miami, anyway. There’s value in honoring Wade and Haslem one more time.

Mostly, the Heat acted like a solid, stuck team this summer – because that’s what they are. That probably contributed to them not rewarding Wade for his prior sacrifice.

Yet, Miami eclipsed the luxury-tax line to sign Wayne Ellington, a helpful cog, to a one-year, $6.27 million deal. The tax isn’t assessed until the final day of the regular season, so there’s still plenty of time for the Heat to dodge it. In fact, I predict they will. But by at least temporarily exceeding the tax line, Miami gave itself its best chance of maintaining its level of play.

The Heat sure didn’t upgrade, though. They made no draft picks, didn’t touch their mid-level exception and signed no outside players to guaranteed salaries.

The biggest status change was for Derrick Jones Jr., who went from a two-way deal to a minimum contract with a second year unguaranteed. The 21-year-old athlete is a worthwhile flier, but he sure isn’t a difference maker.

Neither are Wade and Haslem anymore – outside of our fond memories of the pair, and that counts for something. Just not enough to change Miami’s trajectory.

Offseason grade: C

NBA players react to Dwyane Wade’s ‘last dance’

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Dwyane Wade is coming back for one more season.

After deliberating on it all summer, Wade will return to the Heat for one final tour, a farewell season where he will try to help push the Heat into the postseason, and at least a few times will jump in the hot tub time machine and remind us why he is one of the greatest two guards the game has ever seen.

Other players around the NBA — from teammates such as Hassan Whiteside to All-Stars such as Jimmy Butler — were excited about the move.

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this is gonna be one helluva dance @dwyanewade

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It should be added that once again Wade is saving Miami money. He’s taken discounts before, most notably to form a super team with LeBron James and Chris Bosh while keeping Udonis Haslem and others around. While he could have pushed hard for the midlevel exception, he took the veteran minimum, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, which means the Heat can get under the tax like this season with a move or two.

 

 

Dwyane Wade announces he will return to Heat for ‘one last dance’

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Dwyane Wade — the future Hall of Famer, the three-time champion, the greatest player in Miami Heat history and one of the best two guards to ever play the game — isn’t done yet.

He announced Sunday in an emotional video he will return for one more season with the Miami Heat.

(You can see the full video of his announcement above.)

“Whether they’ve been good or whether they’ve been bad, I got here because I’ve done things the way I feel is right for me and right for my family… I feel it’s right to ask you guys to join me for one last dance, for one last season.”

“This is it. I’ve given this game everything that I have, and I’m happy about that, and I’m going to give it for one last season.”

“Let’s enjoy it. Let’s have some joy in this last season. Let’s push this young team.”

Wade returns to a 44-win team that is essentially running it back with the same roster, just with more Wade (and they hope more health overall).

Wade had weighed this decision all summer, but through it all was working out to get his body ready (a sign that he was going to give it one more run).

This will be Wade’s 16th NBA season, and more than 14 of those will have been with the Heat. Last season he played the final 21 games with Miami coming off the bench, scoring 12 points a game in the regular season, then in the playoffs averaged 16.5 points per game and had a turn-back-the-clock Game 4 against Philadelphia to force a Game 5. His role has shrunk, and his knees need rest during the grind of the season, but Wade can still play the game at a high level and take over for stretches.

Wade will get huge ovations and tribute videos in every city he visits, and Miami fans will pack the building to say goodbye to a legend. Things will feel different in Miami without him.

But not for another year.