Jimmy Butler is under contract with the Miami Heat until 2026, but one team insider thinks the recent contract extension the Boston Celtics gave star Jaylen Brown might make Butler ask for an extension sooner than that.
Butler inked a three-year extension worth $146 guaranteed in 2021. He has an average salary of just under $48 million per year. Next season, he’s set to earn $45 million and he’ll earn $48.8 million the year after that. He has a player option for the 2025-26 season, when he would earn $52.4 million, and he’s slated to be an undrafted free agent in 2026.
According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Butler may be asking for an extension before that time comes, and the Heat forward could be “asking for something even beyond Jaylen Brown money.”
What Would Jaylen Brown-Type Money Mean for Butler, Heat?
As first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Brown just signed a supermax extension for over $303 million and is set to make nearly $60 million per year with the Celtics over each of the next five seasons.
The Heat have been rumored to be in pursuit of adding Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, who will make over $45 million for the 2023-24 season and over $48 million the following year, the last of his deal. Winderman believes that even if Miami adds Lillard, securing Butler for the foreseeable future could be the squad’s priority going forward.
“In fact, should Lillard be acquired, or perhaps even not, expect Butler to move to the front burner with his right to move into negotiations for an extension of a contract that otherwise expires in 2025-26 at $52.4 million that season,” Winderman noted on July 29.
Butler has expressed his loyalty to the Heat multiple times, and he has also made it known he thinks he could win his first NBA championship with Miami, so it would be a surprise if he went anywhere else.
Butler led Miami to the NBA finals this season as a No. 8 seed, and he has gone on record saying he thinks the Heat will win at all next year.
“It’s only about winning here,” Butler told ESPN in June of 2023 about playing for the Heat. “It’s only about working hard, it’s only about being together, and they only bring people here that’s about one goal. We’re not worried about how much money you make, we’re not worried about the stats, we’re not worried about the All-Star appearances, we don’t give a f*** about no Eastern Conference final MVP. Honestly, we don’t give a f*** about no Finals MVP either. We only care about winning the championship.”
Butler’s specific mentioning of Heat players not being overly concerned about how much money is interesting. Could it mean he’d be willing to take less, particularly if a Lillard deal does happen? Maybe.
In 64 games with the Heat last year, Butler averaged 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 33.4 minutes a game (stats via Basketball Reference). His 22.9-point average was the second-highest of his 12-year career, and his numbers were even better in the postseason.
Butler netted 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 22 playoff games, and there’s a little doubt the Heat will try to retain him prior to the expiration of his current contract. Whether he’ll want the same kind of money Brown got, however, remains to be seen.