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#pounditFriday, July 12, 2024

Jimmy Butler likely to be traded by Heat?

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

The Miami Heat may have already made their mind up regarding Jimmy Butler’s future with the organization.

In a new offseason preview, Howard Beck of The Ringer wrote rival executives have been “buzzing” for months about the Heat trading Butler. This is seen as a likely outcome due to Heat president Pat Riley’s preference for dealing players before they become liabilities, as well as the fact that the 35-year-old has one year left on his contract.

Butler wants a two-year extension worth roughly $113 million, a deal that would essentially crush Miami’s chances of adding a second star to their roster. The Heat are also aware of the reality that they have fallen behind in the Eastern Conference with their current core, making change likely.

Riley certainly offered some hints that patience with Butler may be wearing thin. His contractual demands are the real issue, and they probably leave the Heat with little choice but to move him now instead of letting him leave for nothing in a year.

Butler averaged 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists for the Heat last year in 60 games. He sprained his MCL during the play-in tournament and missed the postseason as a result.

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