Spurs Trade Idea Would Pair Jimmy Butler & Victor Wembanyama

Jimmy Butler

Getty Jimmy Butler and Victor Wembanyama embracing after a February 7 game between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

Following Victor Wembanyama’s Rookie of the Year season, there’s pressure on the San Antonio Spurs to upgrade the roster around him.

Armed with multiple picks and intriguing young players, a swing for the fences could be in the cards. Would a deal for six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler make sense?

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey proposed a blockbuster trade between the Miami Heat and Spurs in a recent article for Bleacher Report.

Heat receive: Jeremy Sochan, Keldon Johnson, Zach Collins, 2024 first-round pick (via the Raptors), 2027 first-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick

San Antonio receives: Jimmy Butler

Bailey acknowledged the potential benefits of San Antonio tanking next season but wrote that Wembanyama commands diligence and urgency.

“So, instead of angling for an outside shot at [Cooper] Flagg or [Ace] Bailey,” Bailey wrote on May 28, referring to top high players headed for college next season. “San Antonio could make a win-now move, nabbing one of the league’s best playmaking wings and an all-time great playoff performer in Jimmy Butler.”

Butler’s 2024 postseason run was cut short by injury. But his regular season performance maintained his place as a top-15 player.

Butler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1.3 steals with Miami. His future with the Heat may not be the likeliest, but landing with the Spurs is even more farfetched.

Jimmy Butler Is Extension Eligible

A large reason there’s any speculation to Butler’s future is his eligibility for an extension this summer.

He has two years left on his current three-year, $146 million deal, with a $52 million player option for the 2025-2026 season.

Miami president Pat Riley poured some gas on the fire in an end-of-season press conference, dismissing the extension as a priority.

“We don’t have to do that for a year,” Riley said on May 6. “And so, we have not discussed that internally right now, but we have to look at that, making that kind of commitment.”

Butler will be eligible to sign an extension on June 7. After five years with the Heat, this would represent the first time Miami hasn’t jumped on the opportunity to put him under team control long-term.

“We haven’t made a decision on it,” Riley said. “And we really haven’t really in earnest, discussed it. So we’ll just see what happens.”

Butler has been Miami’s nucleus since arriving in 2019. The team is 227-164 with two NBA Finals appearances since.

Spurs Not Yet in a Position to Contend

As exciting as Wembanyama’s rookie year was, there’s argument that San Antonio isn’t in a position comfortable enough to trade multiple rotation players.

In any conversations regarding a deal for Butler, the Spurs would have to ask themselves if what they have leftover is enough to make a run in the Western Conference.

While it may be a deal that makes them better in the short term, Wembanyama’s future is almost more important than his present.

There’s also Butler’s history of not getting along with young players, evident during his stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He accused Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns of being “soft” and made an example of them in one historic practice in 2018.

Wembanyama isn’t of the same cloth as Towns and Wiggins.

Trading for a disgruntled star would be worse than San Antonio staying the course.

The discourse surrounding Butler aside, the on-court fit between him and Wembanyama isn’t picture perfect either. Especially without a starting point guard, something the Spurs are expected to address this offseason.

Butler and Wembanyama shot 60-of-145 and 128-of-394 from three last season, respectively. That’s not enough from your two best player’s in the current state of the NBA.

And the lack of a point guard would lead to more on-ball reps for Butler, more time initiating the offense, something Miami’s tried to stray from over the last few seasons.

Red flags aplenty, Spurs fans should rest easy knowing the team going all in on the 34-year-old star isn’t the only option this summer.

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