Minnesota Timberwolves: examining trade scenarios for Jimmy Butler

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Butler Tyler Johnson
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The Miami Heat appear willing to take Butler off the Timberwolves’ hands for the right price.

NBA trade rumors of the Timberwolves closing in on a deal with the Miami Heat came in fast. It did not help matters that a report was leaked that the Heat had become the star forward’s preference. A trade between the Timberwolves and Heat are incredibly possible as long as the Timberwolves are willing to take back a bad contract.

Trading Butler to the Heat will mean that the Timberwolves are willing to get either Dion Waiters, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, or Tyler Johnson in return. Shockingly enough, each player would be a natural fit the Timberwolves in every way except financially.

The maximum contract extension for Karl-Anthony Towns will begin next season. That means that Towns and to a lesser extent Andrew Wiggins will eat up over 45 percent of the Timberwolves’ cap space next season. The Timberwolves are not in an ideal place to take on a large contract.

Because the NBA requires teams that are over the cap to complete deals where the incoming salaries have to come within 25 percent of the outgoing salaries, the Timberwolves have a conundrum. Butler is slated to earn over $20 million from the Timberwolves or someplace else. That means the Timberwolves would have to take back at least $16 million in salary to meet the league mandate. The Timberwolves will want an up and coming young player to offset the staggering salary they bring in.

A trade which works…

The Timberwolves agrees to send Butler to the Heat for Dragic and Justise Winslow, along with a few spare players thrown in the mix.