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All-Star Butler wants to join Heat: report
WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 -- The Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler has decided to join the Miami Heat, local media reported on Wednesday.
The All-Star player has earlier made it clear that he is not going to play for Minnesota in the coming season and Miami is his preferred trade destination, according to The New York Times.
The Heat have been in pursuit of Butler since the 29-year-old requested a trade from his team last week.
"Our reality is that he has requested a trade, so we'll honor that. But we're not going to do anything that's bad for the Timberwolves. We're going to do what's good for the Timberwolves," Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said.
The Heat enter the new season with a nearly identical roster as last season, when they went 44-38 to secure the No. 6 seed in the East. The addition of Butler could be enough to vault Miami into the top half of the Eastern Conference.
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists for Minnesota last season, who made the playoffs for the first time since the 2004 season. The Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round by the Houston Rockets.