Heat Linked to 8-Time All-Star in Shocking Blockbuster Trade Proposal

Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers

Getty (From left) Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat and Anthony Davis and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Miami Heat have been one of the most talked about teams of the offseason. Ever since being eliminated from the Eastern Conference finals by the Boston Celtics, the team has been mentioned in multiple speculative blockbuster trade proposals.

In one of them, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons pitched a trade that would send the Heat’s Jimmy Butler to the Los Angeles Lakers for Anthony Davis.

“And if the Lakers called Miami up and said, ‘We’ll give you Anthony Davis for Jimmy Butler,’ Miami is either doing it, or they’re having a seven-hour meeting before they decide not to do it,” Simmons said on the July 11 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “But I just think they would do it. If they can turn Jimmy Butler into Anthony Davis, I think they do it.”

If this were a fantasy league or NBA 2k22, it would be a no-brainer for the Heat: sending away an almost-33-year-old six-time All-Star for a 29-year-old eight-time All-Star with an NBA title to his name.

But Butler, who is about to enter his fourth season in Miami, remains a key member of Heat Culture. His energy and toughness make an even bigger impact on the Heat than his statistical production.

Which Player Has the Edge?

As recently as three years ago, it would be difficult to believe that any team would turn down an offer of Anthony Davis, but given his three-year stint in Los Angeles, it’s no certainty that he would elevate Miami to heights not reached while led by Butler.

From a statistical standpoint, Davis has the edge on Butler. In limited action in 2021-22, Davis averaged 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks last season. Butler averaged 21 points, five rebounds, five assists, one steal and 0.5 blocks last year.

But Butler has Davis beat in terms of durability. Even though he sat out 25 games last season, Butler has appeared in 109 games over the past two seasons. Davis has been dealing with injuries, playing in just 76 games over the same time period. So his ability to stay on the court is not guaranteed.

Heat Remain ‘All-In’ on Potential Durant or Mitchell Trade

It became clear in the playoffs that the Heat need another star to surround Butler if they’re going to truly contend for titles. The team has been mentioned in rumors regarding Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell.

Both teams are looking for historic hauls in return for their franchise cornerstones. The Heat remain hesitant to include Bam Adebayo in any of their trade discussions, and other teams’ knowing that the Heat’s 2023 draft picks won’t likely end up in the lottery make Miami a tough trade partner.

Still, according to Marc Stein wrote, the Heat are “all-in” on a big-time deal this offseason.

“The perpetually title-or-bust Heat, not surprisingly, are all-in on scouring the league to try to manufacture extra first-round picks to boost their chances of completing a trade for Kevin Durant or Utah’s Donovan Mitchell,” Stein wrote in his July 18 column on Substack. “But more teams than not are asking themselves this question: If we trade for Durant, how long before he wants to go somewhere else?”

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