All-Star Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee have told the Minnesota Timberwolves ownership that Butler would prefer to be traded to the Miami Heat, Marc Stein of the New York Timesreports.
It was reported on Tuesday that Butler met with coach Tom Thibodeau to discuss possibly returning to the team during the preseason, but Butler said he is set on leaving Minnesota. It has also previously been reported that the Heat are aggressively pursuing Butler, who has the option to become a free agent after this season.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports the Suns could potentially play a role in a Jimmy Butler trade as "a potential third-team partner" because of their interest in acquiring a point guard. Wojnarowski reports that if Heat guard Goran Dragic is involved in a Butler deal, it could make Jeff Teague, Minnesota's starting point guard last season, available for a deal. He adds that Phoenix also has Minnesota's Tyus Jones on its radar.
Last season Butler played in 59 games for the Timberwolves and averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.0 steals to help them reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
The Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Cavaliers and Kings have also been mentioned as potential destinations for Butler.