ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend - only to see trade fall apart.
According to reports, the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings have also kicked the tires on a Butler deal. Though coach Tom Thibodeau has reportedly been skeptical of dealing Butler, and made an effort to talk him into re-joining the team, it appears the situation is irreparable.
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.
It is important to note that Butler will be a free agent next year, making it more hard for Minny's trade partners to commit more valuable assets in exchange for the 29-year old star. Richardson, who averaged 12.9 points in 81 starts last season, is in the first season of a four-year, $42 million contract. The Clippers and Nets never found traction in conversations with Minnesota, and the Knicks never called, sources said.