The Miami Heat almost traded for Jimmy Butler in October of 2018. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Timberwolves shared Butler’s medical history with the Heat before negotiations broke down.
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
Of course, we all know what happened. Minnesota traded Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers took the eventual champion Toronto Raptors to seven games — and who knows what happens if Kawhi Leonard’s series-clinching shot doesn’t drop in the basket? But could the Heat still sign him this summer?
The Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds reported that the impending free agent would listen to a pitch from Miami.
Jimmy Butler has told confidants that if Miami wants to talk on or after June 30 he would certainly - and happily - listen, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 14, 2019
(Of course, the “how would Miami have the $$$” portion of this equation remains most unclear.)
Now, Butler will opt out of his $19.8 million player option for this upcoming year, as many expected. How, exactly, could Miami find a way to either trade for Butler or clear the cap space to sign him? Even with Goran Dragic notifying the Heat that he opted in to the final year of his contract — allowing Pat Riley to include him in Draft-day trade talks — isn’t likely to move the needle.
My thoughts? This report is probably much ado about nothing. Butler won’t join Miami this summer.