Blockbuster Proposal Brings Heat’s Butler an All-Star ‘Running Mate’

Jimmy Butler Heat-Pacers

Getty Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler reacts after a slam dunk during a 2020 game against the Indiana Pacers.

The Miami Heat figure to be one of the more interesting teams league-wide this summer after the Jimmy ButlerBam AdebayoTyler Herro core fell just short in its bid to get back to the NBA Finals. However, South Beach isn’t quite the epicenter for offseason drama.

That distinction goes to Salt Lake City, where the Utah Jazz are destined to experience more sweeping changes than any other club in the Association. One major domino has already fallen.

As of Monday, head coach Quin Snyder is officially on the outs, resigning after a strong eight-year run. Consequently, the questions that already existed around the futures of franchise cornerstones Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have suddenly grown far more pressing.

When word of Snyder’s big move began to spread over the weekend, ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Mitchell had been thrown for a loop. And one has to wonder whether the three-time All-Star will now be taking a harder look at a possible change himself — or whether Utah might be more willing to facilitate one.

If either of these ends up being the case, one analyst sees a scenario in which the Heat turn some Jazz drama into the piece that gets them back to the dance.

B/R: Heat Could Offer a Monster Package for Mitchell

Stephen A. says Donovan Mitchell should want to leave the Utah Jazz 😮 | First TakeStephen A. says Donovan Mitchell should want to leave the Utah Jazz 😮 | First Take The First Take crew discusses how Quin Snyder's departure will impact Donovan Mitchell's future with the Utah Jazz. #ESPN #NBA #FirstTake ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: ✔️ Subscribe…2022-06-06T15:32:10Z

Bleacher Report‘s Andy Bailey just examined some of the potential suitors for Mitchell in the event that he becomes available. It was a list in which Miami joined the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers as “top landing spots” for the 25-year-old.

“If they’re serious about going after him, the Heat can put together a pretty intriguing offer,” opined Bailey, who pitched the following mega-deal:

  • Miami Heat receive G Donovan Mitchell
  • Utah Jazz receive G/F Tyler Herro, G/F Duncan Robinson, C Omer Yurtseven, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick swap

That particular package would be a lot to give up for any player. His playoff woes notwithstanding, Herro was a driving force behind the Heat’s East-leading performance during the regular season. Also: for all his warts, Robinson is an elite floor-spacer and Yurtseven has the potential to be a better-than-average starting center.

Having said that, the Heat may end up running Butler into the ground and still not getting the chip if the status quo is maintained.

“Right now, the Heat are still far too reliant on 32-year-old Jimmy Butler,” Bailey observed. “Mitchell would take a ton of pressure off Butler and give him another target for his playmaking. And if there’s a situation and coach that could finally motivate Mitchell to play some defense, it’s probably #HeatCulture and Erik Spoelstra.”

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Filling Gaps

Much has been said and written about Miami’s lackluster playoff offense, but it bears repeating here — the team’s O-rating of 110.7 currently ranks as just the ninth-best mark this postseason.

That’s to be expected, though, when your highest usage-rate player in Butler (28% during the playoffs) is well below average from deep and you have a dearth of other creators.

However, Mitchell would plug gaps as a guy who can get on top of the basket, hit a mid-range J or make it rain from distance. This past season, the 25.9-point scorer connected on 70.8% of his attempts within three feet of the hoop — as a 6-1 guard, no less — 51.9% from 10 to 16 feet out and 35.5% on triples.

He’s also developing some playmaking chops, upping his assist rate to 27.7% in 2021-22.

In theory, Mitchell would give Miami many more options offensively as an individual, while also creating more space and opportunity for Butler and the team’s other big guns.


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