ASK IRA: Is Jimmy Butler a Pat Riley type of player?

Associated Press

While the Miami Heat remain interested in a trade for Jimmy Butler, the guard took part in practice with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the first time this preseason, sources told ESPN.

Minnesota and Miami were in the "11th hour" of trade talks, according to Wojnarowski, but the deal fell apart as the Timberwolves "pushed late for a sweeter return" in a potential trade. "I'm so passionate", said Butler, 29, a four-time All-Star who was traded to Minnesota before the 2017-18 season. I'm going to be honest, if your number one priority isn't winning, people can tell.

However, Butler had already confirmed to ESPN's Rachel Nichols that the meeting did, in fact, occur on Thursday. Coaches and players were largely speechless at Butler's tour de force throughout the workout, league sources said.

"He's got 1 year left on his contract and I know Jimmy, that if they don't end up doing the right deal for him [to trade him away], he's gonna play hard and he's gonna stay this year". Teams angling to trade for the mercurial star should be happy after today's possibly staged outburst because the Timberwolves clearly lost leverage in negotiations.

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Butler said all of Nichols' information was accurate but added, "it's not about money".

"I think we had a good practice", Teague said, "but we've got some ways to go".

"I'm not saying that Wahlberg was the adviser for the dramatic short featuring Butler that was played out on Wednesday at Mayo Clinic Square, but it was done well enough to be a Marky Mark Production", Reusse writes.

At one point during the heated scrimmage at Timberwolves' practice Wednesday, Towns tried to post up Butler, and let's just say things didn't go too well for Towns. Whether he's here or not, we'll just focus on who is here. This is my first interview - I haven't said anything to anybody, but when it comes out, it comes out.

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