‘Motherf–ker’: The reason why Jimmy Butler trade talks imploded
Just as trade talks between the Timberwolves and Heat broke down, Pat Riley had some parting words for Tom Thibodeau.
The Heat president reportedly called Thibodeau a “motherf–ker” and hung up the phone after the Timberwolves coach/team president tried changing the deal in the 11th hour, according to ESPN’s Jorge Sedano.
According to Sedano, who reported the blow up on his radio show, the medicals were exchanged between the two teams but the Timberwolves hesitated. Thibodeau, who calls the shots in Minnesota, demanded more draft picks after just being assured they’d receive one protected first-rounder. Clearly, that didn’t sit well with the legendary Riley, especially when he thought the deal was done.
Here’s the full transcript from Sedano:
“There’s been a couple of different incarnations of this deal. The first one, the Heat didn’t want to take back Gorgui Dieng. Then, the next incarnation of the deal was ‘OK forget it, let’s just do it straight up, just for Jimmy on your end.’ They finally relented on Josh Richardson. They were giving them Josh Richardson, then Dion Waiters was going to be the cap filler and then a protected first-round pick.
The medicals were exchanged, which generally in the NBA means this is a done deal. And then, Thibs called back and wanted more picks. And Pat Riley literally — I was told — called him a motherbleeper and hung up the phone.”
Some have questioned Thibodeau’s willingness to trade Butler as he is likely coaching for his job this season and it’s unlikely the Timberwolves will improve in the short-term if they trade away their best player. The Heat have long been seen as the favorites for Butler, while the Rockets have also been engaged in trade talks.
As of now, though, the 29-year-old Butler remains on the Timberwolves. Minnesota has yet to practice after Butler’s bizarre return to the team on Wednesday, where he reportedly teamed up with benchwarmers to beat the starters and screaming at general manager Scott Layden “you f–king need me” during the practice.
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