Jimmy Butler has had a great first season with the Miami Heat, and he’s followed that up with an even better postseason. Whether Butler puts the Heat into the position to win a title or not is almost secondary to the fact that he’s gotten them this far.
Say what you want about Butler’s past — he’s been questioned as a teammate before, especially in Minnesota — but the Heat have to be happy with their investment so far. So how much are the Heat paying Butler?
Jimmy Butler’s season so far
It’s been a wild and unpredictable season for just about everyone, but Butler is thriving in Miami. He’s led the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals — whether the team advances or not from here, they’ve already surpassed their expectations heading into this year.
They defeated the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern semis. The Bucks were looked at as favorites to emerge from the East and possibly win the title. Now, they’re sitting at home thanks to Butler’s heroics.
Butler has had an interesting career so far, to say the least. He was the “guy” in Chicago before leaving for Minnesota. After being very vocal about his displeasure with the direction of the Timberwolves franchise, they traded him to Philadelphia where he stayed for a short time. Typically, big stars aren’t quite so transient. But could it be that Butler’s finally found his ideal location?
Based on the Heat’s roster construction, this could be the case.
The Miami Heat’s salary cap situation
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the NBA’s salary cap next season is expected to be around $116 million. With $105 million in contracts already committed, the Heat aren’t looking to be major players on the free-agent market. But the time for the team to strike is the following season.
The 2021-2022 cap is projected to be around $125 million, while the Heat only have around $63 million on the books that year. Some free agents who will be available that offseason include LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, and Rudy Gobert. While acquiring James or Antetokounmpo may be unlikely, signing a second-tier star, like Beal or Gobert, is not out of the question.
That’s not to say the Heat can’t be players in this year’s free-agent market. They can move some contracts around and trade pieces as they see fit. But based on the available collection of talent ready to hit the open market next summer, it makes sense to wait. The Heat have a great roster constructed for 2021, so there’s almost no reason to push the matter.
The Heat already have a rather talented core in place. Partnering Butler with another big-time free agent in a few seasons will put them at the top of the East. But just how much exactly does the team currently pay Butler?
How much are the Miami Heat paying Jimmy Butler?
According to Hoops Hype, Butler is currently in the first year of a four-year deal worth over $140 million. The average annual value of the deal is over $35 million. He’s the highest-paid player on the Heat and the 11th highest-paid player in the NBA. He came to the Heat as part of a three-way sign-and-trade deal between the Heat, Sixers, and Clippers.
Butler clearly possesses the capability to be a team leader, so it’s no wonder he’d be paid like one. If the Heat can keep their salary numbers reasonable over the next two seasons, Butler could be looking at major help on the way.