The Timberwolves Just Blew Their Best Chance to Trade Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler was nearly traded to the Heat over the weekend. More

Jimmy Butler was nearly traded to the Heat over the weekend. More

Minnesota, meanwhile, still hasn't moved him, and on Sunday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that their desire to get as much back as possible kept a trade from happening in recent days.

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.

The Timberwolves had reportedly sought Josh Richardson, 25, in any deal with the Heat, something Miami had finally relented on to make the deal seem like a possibility.

The Heat reportedly had balked at such a demand, but the hard line regarding Richardson seemingly has softened. The Heat's next exhibition is Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena against the Orlando Magic.

Minnesota had shared Butler's medical information with Miami late in the week, sources said, a typical last step before finalizing a trade.

According to a Twitter post from ESPN analyst Bobby Marks, a former National Basketball Association executive, "The process of sharing medical/insurance information is equal to getting to the 5 yard line", he posted.

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.

Butler has the right to become a free agent on July 1, with an acquiring team likely to seek assurances that he will re-sign. Miami always desires to be a destination for the NBA's elite players, and having Butler in tow helps with that goal.

Miami's believed willingness to pay Butler something in the neighborhood of a five-year, $190 million maximum contract next summer has played a part in Butler's enthusiasm in pursuing a deal there, league sources said.

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