Since Jimmy Butler first joined the Miami Heat in 2019, he’s been the star of the franchise. After signing a four-year $184 million contract extension over the summer, Butler put a lock on that role through the 2025-26 season.
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The 31-year-old wing led the Heat all the way to the NBA Finals during his first year with the franchise, and following the Heat’s first-round sweep in the playoffs last season, he helped transform the roster during the offseason, recruiting his best friend, six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry to join him in Miami.
While the postseason was frustrating, Butler enjoyed the best regular-season campaign of his career, averaging 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 49.7% from the field and 24.5% from deep.
Butler’s new contract shows that Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra believe he’ll not only replicate that kind of performance in next season but for the foreseeable future.
However, should the beautiful marriage between Butler and the Heat fall apart, or if the Marquette alum’s performance starts to drag as he ages, it will be incredibly difficult to move the five-time All-Star, Hoops Hype’s Yossi Gozlan reported:
Jimmy Butler has proven he’s worth the maximum contract he’s currently on. He added an additional three years projected at $142 million that would pay him $51 million in his age 36 season. There’s a case for players like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant who are also set to earn $50 million on their extensions to be on this list but Butler’s trajectory into his thirties may not be as favorable as theirs.
It should be noted, however, that some of the best players in the entire NBA are in their mid-30s, Butler is the same age as Damian Lillard, as is DeMar DeRozan, all of whom look like they’ll be dominant on the court for years to come, not to mention Chris Paul (36), LeBron James (36), and Russell Westbrook (32).
Butler Wants to Win a Championship With Miami, Not Anywhere Else
Butler described resigning with Miami to be a “no brainer.” He never thought about moving on to a different team, and the Heat offering him such a massive extension, it’s clear that kind of dedication is mutual.
While it may be nearly impossible to trade Butler before his deal expires, as it stands, there’s no rhyme or reason that the Heat or Butler would even consider going down that path.
Coach Spo said of Butler’s relentless approach to winning, “He can manipulate a game offensively against any coverage, against any player as well as any player that I’ve ever coached.”
The Heat Jumped Up the Power Rankings for the 2021-22 NBA Season
Following a flurry of free agency moves, the Heat’s roster will look decidedly different during the 2021-22 NBA season, and league experts can’t help but praise the newly-transformed team.
In the most recent NBA power rankings, ESPN analysts put the Heat at the No. 8 spot. Miami’s Eastern Conference rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, nabbed the top spot, and the Milwaukee Bucks earned second place.
The power rankings were curated by Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Dave McMenamin, Kevin Pelton, and Royce Young. Friedell explained that the Heat’s positioning stems from the franchise’s newest additions:
Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris joined a roster that has always prided itself on being mentally tougher and physically stronger than everybody else. The trio should fit in nicely behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat have the kind of roster that would be tough to deal with in a playoff series. The question is whether the veteran-laden team can get to that point with the health needed to make a deep run.