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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Jimmy Butler’s agent responds to warning from Pat Riley

Jimmy Butler in a black Heat jersey

Dec 16, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dribbles the ball up the court against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at Kaseya Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Riley had a pointed message for Jimmy Butler on Monday, and Butler responded through his agent with his own thoughts.

Riley implied that the Heat would expect Butler to play more frequently if the forward requests a max contract, as the Heat president said the team would only want to commit those kind of resources to a player who is “available every single night.” Riley’s comments come after a season in which Butler played 60 games, and he has not played in more than 65 games in the regular season since 2016-17, his last year with the Chicago Bulls.

In response, Butler’s agent, Bernie Lee, noted that the Heat had been less successful than hoped last season, and that everything should be examined in order to advance Butler’s sole goal of winning a championship.

“Coming out of this season, a year in which the team didn’t either have the same success in the year previous and in Miami’s case didn’t return to and win the Finals, everything has to be examined and it will be,” Lee said, via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “And the necessary changes will be put in place not because anyone else said so, or to prove anything to anyone externally but simply because that’s the way Jimmy has built his entire career. He has one goal left and that’s to win a championship. Period.”

Even as Butler wants that two-year max extension, there seem to be some tensions between him and the Heat. There had been some reports of friction between the two parties, and Riley also sounded quite displeased with some recent comments Butler made.

Riley’s statement that Butler needs to be available if he wants a new contract is certainly a pointed one. That is especially true since Butler battled injuries and missed the entire postseason this year as a result of one.

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