Signing Butler is a step in the right direction for the Heat. He played for the 76ers last season and seemed to take a backseat to Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris at times, averaging 18.2 points in 55 regular season games with the 76ers (his lowest since 2013-14) but he was clutch when the team needed a closer and also contributed with 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game and shot 46.1 percent from the field.
Jimmy Butler played incredibly well in the playoffs, averaging 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals on 45.1 percent shooting in 35.1 minutes over 12 games and he was phenomenal in the second round against the Raptors, averaging 22.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.6 assists in seven games.
In addition to adding Jimmy Butler, the Heat took Tyler Herro with the 13th pick in the NBA Draft, traded Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers in a deal that brought Meyers Leonard to Miami and re-signed Udonis Haslem for one season. The Heat still have Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, James Johnson and Dion Waiters as part of their roster, so they can be competitive in the Eastern Conference next season.
Never Say Never
In 2013 Butler told Chicago Splash Magazine, “The one thing I’d never wear is … a Miami Heat jersey.” Six years later he is the new face of the team now that Dwyane Wade retired. The pomp and circumstance surrounding Wade’s last home game with the Heat last season reportedly blew away Butler and he told friends that being able to see what the organization is about left an enormous impact on him.
Butler’s birthday was last week and his close friend Dwyane Wade congratulated him on Twitter:
“For your 30th birthday I’m glad i could help you get something you never ever wanted and that’s to be in a @MiamiHEAT Jersey ‍Happy Earth Day to my brother @JimmyButler”
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Heavy.com interviewed Wade recently and this is what he had to say about Butler joining the Heat:
“Jimmy, he really wanted to be in Miami,” Wade said. “He wanted to be apart of the culture that Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, myself and Udonis have held up and created.”
“I think it’s going to fare well with him,” Wade added. “And I think the guys on the team will be energized to have a guy like Jimmy there to push them. So, I look forward to them having a way better season obviously then we did the last seasons here in Miami.”
Butler clearly wants to be his own man and while he wants to win at the highest level, forging his own path matters to him, even if it won’t be the easiest one.
Odds To Win The Eastern Conference
(Courtesy of 5Dimes)
Milwaukee Bucks +160
Philadelphia 76ers +250
Boston Celtics +800
Brooklyn Nets +865
Indiana Pacers +1250
Toronto Raptors +1500
Miami Heat +2500
Orlando Magic +4500
Atlanta Hawks +9000
Detroit Pistons +10000
Chicago Bulls +18000
Washington Wizards +50000
New York Knicks +50000
Cleveland Cavaliers +75000
Charlotte Hornets +100000