Butler hasn’t yet practiced with the Timberwolves this season, but he was with his teammates in the locker room at the team’s practice facility Wednesday morning, league sources said.
There has been hope among the Minnesota front office, coaching staff and some teammates that Butler would rejoin the team, but it remained to be seen what, if anything, Butler would do on the court with the Wolves on Wednesday. At times, Butler has been working out away from the team at the facility since his trade request three weeks ago.
Minnesota and Miami advanced to the brink of a blockbuster trade for Butler over the weekend — only for the deal to fracture before completion, sources said.
Minnesota had shared Butler’s medical information with Miami late last week, sources said, a typical last step before finalizing a trade. Minnesota moved to amend the framework of the trade and talks collapsed on Saturday, league sources said.
Miami had softened on including guard Josh Richardson in versions of a possible deal for Butler, only to recoil once Minnesota pushed late for a sweeter return on the four-time All-Star, league sources said. Richardson, 25, who’s considered a strong, young two-way player, averaged 12.9 points in 81 starts last season. He’s in the first season of a four-year, $42 million contract.
Outside of the Heat, the Timberwolves have had no serious, active talks with any other team, league sources said. Butler has told Minnesota that he’ll leave in free agency in July — and wants a trade now.
Owner Glen Taylor has pushed president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden to find a deal sooner rather than later for Butler, league sources said.